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Critically acclaimed first novel by the most renowned female author France has ever produced.

Hadrian, a 2nd Century Roman Emperor, addresses a long letter to his successor, Marcus Aurelius.
He muses upon his own life, power, his vision of the Roman Empire and a myriad of other topics.
Yourcenar ends up providing a complex portrait of Hadrian and his times, however, the story is so internal that it's somewhat static.


Grade: (C+)


See also:

Historical Fiction
Marguerite Yourcenar Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Marguerite Yourcenar
    -INTERVIEW: Marguerite Yourcenar, The Art of Fiction No. 103 (Interviewed by Shusha GuppyISSUE 106, SPRING 1988, Paris Review)
    -PROFILE: BECOMING THE EMPEROR: How Marguerite Yourcenar reinvented the past (JOAN ACOCELLA, 2005-02-07, The New Yorker)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Passion and Patience: On the Timeless Virtues of Marguerite Yourcenar’s Hadrian (Dave Lucas, June 8, 2020, Lit Hub)

Book-related and General Links:
        -Mavis Gallant: Limpid Pessimist (NY Review of Books)
       -REVIEW: Frank Kermode: A Successful Alchemist, NY Review of Books
            The Abyss by Marguerite Yourcenar

If you liked Memoirs of Hadrian, try:

Gibbon, Edward
    -The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire : An Abridged Version

Langguth, A.J.
    -A Noise of War: Caesar, Pompey, Octavian and the Struggle for Rome

Sienkiewicz, Henryk
    -Quo Vadis?

Wallace, Lew

Whyte, Jack
(The Camulod Chronicles)
    -The Skystone
    -The Singing Sword
    -The Eagle's Brood
    -The Saxon Shore