The tale of social-climbing, arriviste Julien Sorel brilliantly captures the contradictions and hypocrisies permeating French society under the Bourbon Restoration. Using his formidable intellect, innate cunning and charm, Julien clambers his way to the top, manipulating and seducing those who have the power to give him the social status he desires. However, Julien's idealism and Napoleonic ambitions are always simmering just below the surface, threatening to erupt and jeopardise his designs. For how long will he be able to smother his true feelings? Bill Homewood's reading masterfully portrays the psychological tension and intrigue of this French classic.