Short summary - Vanina Vanini - Stendhal - Marie-Henri Beyle

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Vanina Vanini
Stendhal - Marie-Henri Beyle

VERY BRIEF: 19th century Italy. An aristocrat falls in love with an ardent young revolutionary who escaped from prison. Their feelings are mutual, but the young man has to make a choice between love and duty to the Motherland.

On a spring evening in 182 ... the banker, the Duke de B. was giving a ball to which the most beautiful women of Rome were invited. Vanina Vanini, a black-haired girl with a fiery gaze, was proclaimed the queen of the ball. The whole evening she was courted by the young prince Livio Savelli. At about midnight at the ball, news spread that a young Carbonarius had escaped from the Fortress of Saint Angel.

Prince Azdrubala Vanini was rich. Both of his sons joined the Jesuit order, went mad and died. The prince forgot them, and he was angry with his only daughter Vanina for rejecting the most brilliant games.

In the morning after the ball, Vanina noticed that her father locked the door to the stairs, which led to the rooms on the fourth floor of the palace, the windows of which overlooked the terrace. Vanina found a window in the attic opposite the terrace, and saw a wounded stranger in one of the rooms. Prince Azdrubala visited her every day, and then went to the Countess Vitelleschi.

Vanina managed to get the key to the door that led to the terrace. In the absence of her father, she began to visit a stranger who called herself Clementine. She was seriously wounded in the shoulder and chest, every day she was getting worse, and Vanina decided to send for a surgeon loyal to the Vanini family. Clementine didn't want this. Finally, she had to admit that she was not a woman, but the escaped Carbonarian Pietro Missirilli. He fled, dressed in a woman's dress, he was wounded, and he hid in the garden of Countess Vitelleschi, from where he was secretly transported to the house of Vanini.

Upon learning about the deception, Vanina called a doctor. She herself entered Pietro's room only a week later. Missirilli hid her feelings behind a mask of devoted friendship, and Vanina was afraid that he did not share her love. One evening she said she loved him, and they gave in to their feelings.

Four months have passed. Pietro's wounds healed and he decided to go to Romagna to avenge himself. In desperation, Vanina offered Pietro to marry her, but he refused, believing that his life belonged to his homeland. Then Vanina decided to go to Romagna after her beloved and there to unite with him forever. She hoped that between her and his homeland, he would choose her.

In Romagna, at a meeting of the Venta, Pietro was elected its head. Two days later, Vanina arrived at her castle of San Nicolo. She brought with her 2,000 sequins, with which Pietro bought weapons. At this time, a conspiracy was being prepared, thanks to which Pietro would be crowned with glory. Vanina felt that Pietro was moving away from her. To keep her beloved, she betrayed the conspiracy to the cardinal legate and persuaded Pietro to leave for San Nokolo for a few days. A few days later, Missirilli learned of the arrest of ten Carbonari and surrendered himself to the legate.

Meanwhile, Prince Vanini promised his daughter's hand to Prince Livio Savelli. Vanina agreed - Prince Livio was the nephew of Monsignor Catanzar, the Roman governor and minister of police, using him, Vanina hoped to save Pietro. With Livio's help, she learned that Pietro was being held in the Fortress of Saint Angel. She achieved the promotion of her confessor, Abbot Kari, who was the steward in this fortress. The trial took place. The Carbonarii were sentenced to death, which was later commuted to imprisonment. Only for Missirilli the verdict remained unchanged. Upon learning of this, Vanina entered the Catanzar's house at night and, with the help of threats, flattery and coquetry, persuaded him to leave Pietro alive. Dad himself did not want to stain his hands with blood and signed the decree.

Soon, Vanina learned that the Carbonari were being transported to the fortress of San Leone, and decided to see Missirilli at the stage to Chita-Castellana. Abbot Kari, devoted to her, arranged a meeting in the prison chapel. On a date, Pietro returned her word to Vanina. He could only belong to his homeland. In a frenzy, Vanina confessed to Pietro that it was she who had betrayed the conspiracy to the legate. Petro rushed to her to kill with chains, in which he was chained, but the jailer restrained him. Completely destroyed, Vanina returned to Rome.