The Charterhouse of Parma chronicles the adventures of the young Italian nobleman Fabrice del Dongo from his birth in 1798 to his death. Fabrice grows up surrounded by intrigues and alliances for and against the French. At young age he pulls a rather quixotic effort to join Napoleon on his return to France wandering onto the field at the Battle of Waterloo where he gets seriously wounded and lucky to survive. Upon his return to Parma, Fabrice becomes a protégé of his aunt Gina who sends him to seminary school in Naples with the idea that he becomes a senior figure in the Parma's religious hierarchy. After several years of theology school, during which he has many affairs with local women, Fabrice returns to Parma where his free spirit keeps pushing him to new intrigues, schemes and affairs, which lead to many trials and tribulations.