The Charterhouse of Parma recounts the tale of the handsome Italian royalist Fabrice del Dongo and his military adventures. Fabrice’s early years are spent in his family’s castle on Lake Como, while much of the book is set in Parma.
The book begins with the French army sweeping into Milan and stirring up the sleepy region of Lombardy, allied with Austria. Fabrice grows up in the context of the intrigues and alliances for and against the French—his father the Marchese comically fancies himself a spy for the Viennese. The novel's early section describes Fabrice's rather quixotic effort to join Napoleon when the latter returns to France in March 1815 (the Hundred Days).
Fabrice at seventeen is idealistic, rather naive, and speaks poor French. However he won't be stopped, and he leaves his home on Lake Como and travels north under false papers. He wanders through France, losing money and horses at a fast rate. He is imprisoned as a spy, he escapes, dons the uniform of a dead French hussar, and in his excitement to play the role of a French soldier, wanders onto the field of battle at the Battle of Waterloo.
Fabrice briefly joins the guard of Field Marshal Ney, shoots one Prussian cavalryman while he and his regiment flee, and is lucky to survive the fighting with a serious wound to his leg (given to him by one of the retreating French cavalrymen). He makes his way back to his family's castle, injured, broke, and still wondering "was I really in the battle?"
As well as his wartime exploits, the novel details the young man's amorous progression through the courts of Italy in later life and his time as a diplomat.
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Published By Chill Puppy Press
Category: Adventure & war
Format: E-book download (No DRM). Mobi format (Kindle) or ePub format (Nook/Kobo/Sony) or pdf format.
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