Henri Marie Beyle (1783-1842) had a post in the Ministry of War and followed Napoleon's campaigns before retiring to Italy. Here, as "Stendhal," he began writing on art, music and travel. He later wrote novels, literary criticism, and various biographical and autobiographical works. John Sturrock is Consulting Editor for the London Review of Books, a literary critic, travel writer, and translator. His translations for Penguin include novels by Stendhal and Hugo, one volume of the new Proust translation, Sodom and Gomorrah, and most recently (with Jeremy Harding) a volume of Rimbaud's poems and letters.