A new book review from The Movie Snob.
Memoirs of Hadrian, by Marguerite Yourcenar (1951). I learned of the existence of this novel from Joseph Epstein’s The Ideal of Culture, and it did not disappoint. It is a fictional memoir of the Roman emperor Hadrian (reigned 117 to 138) in the form of a long letter to his adopted grandson and heir, Marcus Aurelius. Hadrian’s death is near, and he sums up his life and tries to offer some advice to his successor. I get the impression a ton of historical research went into this work, so I assume it sticks pretty closely to the facts as we know them. I really liked it, but then I’m a sucker for the swords-and-sandals genre. So your mileage may vary.