Memoirs of Hadrian

Memoirs of Hadrian

Book - 1963
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Both an exploration of character and a reflection on the meaning of history, "Memoirs of Hadrian" has received international acclaim since its first publication in France in 1951. In it, Marguerite Yourcenar reimagines the Emperor Hadrian's arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his gradual reordering of a war-torn world, writing with the imaginative insight of a great writer of the twentieth century while crafting a prose style as elegant and precise as those of the Latin stylists of Hadrian's own era.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, c1963.
ISBN: 9780394605050
0394605055
Characteristics: 347 pages

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Liber_vermis
Jan 22, 2016

This fictional "memoir" of Roman emperor Hadrian provides an intriguing glimpse into the mind of a ruler. Photographs of busts of the main characters add "realism" to this historical fiction. It would have been helpful to the reader if a map of the Roman Empire with key city and province names; and an annotated list of persons names had been provided. Lengthy biographical notes, and a point form history of the writing of the book have been provided by the author.

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Liber_vermis
Jan 22, 2016

From 76 AD - 138 AD, Hadrian was ruler of the Roman Empire. Born and raised in Spain and educated in Greece, Hadrian was appointed governor of Syria by Trajan. Hadrian used the Roman army to preserve peace rather than expand the empire; promoted trade and the arts. Hadrian was deeply affected by his homosexual attachment to Antinous. Author Marguerite Yourcenar struggled with this historical fiction over 25 years before its publication.

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Liber_vermis
May 24, 2015

Asked by an arts journalist 'Which book do you think is under-appreciated?', the American novelist Jim Shepard replied: "I press Marguerite Yourcenar's "Memoirs of Hadrian" on everyone I meet. I think it's the most stunning historical novel I've ever encountered. I find it miraculous, and I have no idea why it isn't more widely read." - The Globe & Mail, Saturday, May 23, 2015.

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