French writer Marguerite Yourcenar devoted the better part of her adult life to researching and writing the Memoirs of Hadrian, published in 1951. While it is fiction, Yourcenar's intimate writing style and painstaking historical accuracy will convince the reader that he is actually reading the journal and letters of the emperor Hadrian. Hadrian was considered one of the "Good Emperors" of the Roman Empire, and Yourcenar's portrayal of him as thoughtful and idealistic reinforces the portrait that history has painted. Most moving are her depictions of Hadrian's personal relationship with Antinous and the misgivings he felt when embarking upon war.
Memoirs of Hadrian