Marguerite Yourcenar
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2005, originally published 1951 (in French), English
ISBN: 9780374529260

From the Publisher. Both an exploration of character and a meditation on history, Marguerite Yourcenar’s novel Memoirs of Hadrian has received international acclaim since its publication in France in 1951. Written in the form of a testamentary letter from the emperor Hadrian to his successor, the youthful Marcus Aurelius, the work is as extraordinary for its psychological depth as for its accurate reconstruction of the second century of our era. In it, Yourcenar reimagines Hadrian's arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his reordering of a war-torn world

On 2 book lists
Isaac Mizrahi

I stopped hating being an insomniac because of this book.

Carlo Ratti

A powerful description of Antinopolis—a city created not for efficiency, politics, or commerce, but for love.

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