Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar
Memoirs of Hadrian is a novel by the French writer Marguerite Yourcenar about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The book was first published in France in French in 1951 as Mémoires d'Hadrien, and was an immediate success, meeting with enormous critical acclaim. The historical Hadrian did write an autobiography, but it has been lost. The book takes the form of a letter to Hadrian's cousin and eventual successor "Mark" (Marcus Aurelius). The emperor meditates on military triumphs, love of poetry and music, philosophy, and his passion for his lover Antinous, all in a manner not inconsistent with Gustave Flaubert's "melancholy of the antique world."