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The Charterhouse of Parma narrates the adventures of the young noble Italian Fabrizio del Dongo, from its birth in 1798 to his death. Fabrice spent his early years in the family’s castle on Lake Como, while most of the rest of the novel is set in a fictionalized Parma. The book begins with the French army sweep in Milan and stir the sleepy region of Lombardy, which was allied with Austria. Fabrice grows surrounded by intrigues and alliances for and against the French.