From Publishers Weekly
This first English translation of the last, previously unknown novel by Dumas (1802–1870) offers a stunning completion to his fictional mapping of French history. The plot centers on Compte Hector de Sainte Hermine, a royalist captured and imprisoned by Bonaparte. Part one finds him caught in the political intrigue of 1801–1804, as Napoleon moves from first consul to emperor. In part two, Hector, now known as René, is released from jail; he signs onto a French corsair as a common seaman, but his noble birth, superb education and martial abilities soon elevate him in rank. The next 300 pages slosh with swashbuckling sea adventure, casting heroic romance against the background of Napoleon's ultimate fall. It's Dumas at his best, but alloyed: asides; minibiographies; commentaries on fashion, manners, geography and history; and flashbacks pile up unendingly, leavened with farcical humor and witty punditry. Although it lacks the polish of The Three Musketeers
and the concision of The Count of Monte Cristo
, this capacious, rambling, unfinished account of the Napoleonic era represents vintage Dumas and an intensely personal vision of the time. (Nov.)
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About the Author
One of the most famous French writers of the nineteenth century, Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) first achieved success in the literary world a playwright, before turning his hand to writing novels. In two years from 1844 to 1855, he published two enormous books, The Count of Monte-Cristo and The Three Muskateers. Both novels have sold millions of copies worldwide.