My Hermit’s Life
- Memoirs from beyond the Grave 1768-1800 by François-René de Chateaubriand, translated by Alex Andriesse
NYRB, 512 pp, £12.99, January, ISBN 978 1 68137 129 0
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Likewise François-René de Chateaubriand. Again and again, in this first volume of Memoirs from beyond the Grave, a character is introduced only for their death to be immediately announced. ‘President Le Pelletier de Rosambo, who later died with such courage, was, when I arrived in Paris, a model of frivolity.’ And again: ‘The Bishop of Dol was … a friend of my family and a prelate of quite moderate political views who, on his knees, crucifix in hand, was shot with his brother.’
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