David Coward's vibrant translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing de Musset's affair with Sand, how 'les Amants de Venise' became a source of both artistic inspiration and satire, and his work's place in the confessional genre. This edition contains a chronology and further reading.
Alfred de Musset was born in 1810 in Paris. He attempted careers in medicine, law and drawing before publishing his first collection of poems, Contes d'Espagne et d'Italie (1829). He subsequently wrote numerous plays, and the erotic novel Gamiani, or Two Nights of Excess (1833) is sometimes attributed to him. From 1833 to 1835, he had an affair with the novelist George Sand, which became the basis for his most famous novel La Confession d'un Enfant du Si cle (1836). Sand herself also fictionalized the affair in her novel Elle et lui. Musset died in 1857 and was buried in P re Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.David Coward is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Leeds. He won a Scott-Moncrieff prize for his edition of Albert Cohen's Belle du Seigneur, and has also translated Moli re for Penguin Classics.
Confession of a Child of the Century is not only a searingly honest self-portrait but a portrait of a whole generation...Musset's self-lashing memoir is a defence of human and spiritual values to which he could only aspire. He never reformed and never again wrote anything as good -- David Coward