One of the great French novelists of the nineteenth century, Stendhal describes his unhappy youth with sensitivity and intelligence in his autobiographical novel The Life of Henri Brulard, written in 1835 and 1836 but published in 1890. Long after his death. Stendhal detested his father, a lawyer from Grenoble, France, whose only passion in life was making money. Therefore, Stendhal left home as soon as he could. Stendhal served with Napoleon's army in the campaign in Russia in 1812, which helped inspire the famous war scenes in his novel The Red and the Black (1831). After Napoleon's fall, Stendhal lived for six years in Italy, a country he loved during his entire life. In 1821, he returned to Paris for a life of literature, politics, and love affairs. Stendhal's novels feature heroes who reject any form of authority that would restrain their sense of individual freedom. They are an interesting blend of romantic emotionalism and eighteenth-century realism. Stendhal's heroes are sensitive, emotional individuals who are in conflict with the society in which they live, yet they have the intelligence and detachment to analyze their society and its faults. Stendhal was a precursor of the realism of Flaubert. He once described the novelist's function as that of a person carrying a mirror down a highway so that the mirror would reflect life as it was, for all society.