This excellent short biography…brings out both the charms and the complexities of Stendhal. The tone of the book is discreetly admiring, but ironic enough when need be to remind one of the saving and consummate irony of its subject.
[An] excellent and balanced biography.
A Lion for Love is a splendid example of a rare and difficult critical genre: a biography which chronicles and interprets development of a character of complex imaginative genius, and at the same time introduces a lucid critical reading of his works.
The publication of A Lion for Love, by Robert Alter with the collaboration of his wife, Carol Cosman, supplies at last a fine, perceptive, concise critical biography of Stendhal, written with a clarity and good sense worthy of its subject… Alter and Cosman…wear their erudition with becoming lightness.
A Lion for Love is a model of critical biography—a fascinating biography of a fascinating man.
Robert Alter is Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of numerous critical works, including the prize-winning The Art of Biblical Narrative.