Item description for The Last Cavalier: Being the Adventures of Count Sainte-Hermine in the Age of Napoleon by Alexandre Dumas...
Overview After being in prison for three years and wondering what his fate will be, Hector is released, but forced into battle.
Publishers Description Rousing, big, spirited, its action sweeping across oceans and continents, its hero gloriously indomitable, the last novel of Alexandre Dumas - lost for 125 years in the archives of the National Library in Paris - completes the oeuvre that Dumas imagined at the outset of his literary career. Indeed, the story of France from the Renaissance to his own era in the nineteenth century, as Dumas vibrantly retold it in his numerous enormously popular novels, has long-been absent one vital, richly historical era: the Age of Napoleon. But no longer. Now, dynamically, in a tale of family honor and undying vengeance, of high adventure and heroic derring-do, The Last Cavalier fills that gap. The last cavalier is also Count de Sainte-Hermine - Hector - whose elder brothers and father have fought and died for the Royalist cause during the French Revolution. For three years Hector has been languishing in prison when, in 1804, on the eve of Napoleon's coronation as emperor of France, he learns what's to be his due. Stripped of his title, denied the honor of his family name as well as the hand of the woman he loves, he is freed by Napoleon on the condition that he serve as a common soldier or ordinary seaman in the imperial forces. So it is in profound despair that Hector embarks on a succession of daring escapades as fearlessly he courts death. Yet again and again he wins glory - against brigands, bandits, the British; boa constrictors, sharks, tigers, crocodiles. And at the battle of Trafalgar it is his marksman's bullet that fells the famed English admiral Lord Nelson.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.5" Width: 6.4" Height: 2.4" Weight: 2.85 lbs.
Release Date Sep 12, 2007
Publisher Pegasus Books
ISBN 1933648317 ISBN13 9781933648316
Availability 0 units.
More About Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas (pere) lived a life as romantic as that depicted in his famous novels. He was born on July 24,1802, at Villers-Cotterets, France, the son of Napoleon's famous mulatto general, Dumas, His early education was scanty, but his beautiful handwriting secured him a position in Paris in 1822 with the du'Orleans, where he read voraciously and began to write. His first play, Henri III et sa cour (1829), scored a resounding success for its author and for the romantic movement. Numerous dramatic successes followed (including the melodrama Kean , later adapted by Jean-Paul Satre), and so did numerous mistresses and adventures. He took part in the revolution of 1830 and caught cholera during the epidemic of 1832, fathered two illegitimate children by two different mistresses, and then married still another mistress. (The first of these two children, Alexandre Dumas, [fils], became a famous author also, ) His lavish spending and flamboyant habits led to the construction of his fabulous Chateau de Monte-Christo, and in 1851 he fled to Belgium to escape creditors. He died on December 5, 1870, bankrupt but still cheerful, saying of death, "I shall tell her a story, and she will be kind to me." Dumas's overall literary output reached over 277 volumes, but his brilliant historical novels made him the most universally read of all French novelists. With collaborators, mainly Auguste Maquet, Dumas wrote such works as The Three Musketeer (1843-44); its sequels, Twenty Years After (1845) and the great mystery The Man in the Iron Mask (1845-50); and The Count of Monte Cristo (1844). L'action and l'amour were the two essential things in life and his fiction. He declared he "elevated history to the dignity of the novel" by means of love affairs, intrigues, imprisonments, hairbreadth escapes, and duels. His work ignored historical accuracy, Psychology, and analysis, but its thrilling adventure and exuberant inventiveness continue to delight readers, and Dumas remains one of the prodigies of nineteenth-century French literature.
Alexandre Dumas was born in 1802 and died in 1870.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Last Cavalier: Being the Adventures of Count Sainte-Hermine in the Age of Napoleon?
Who is the last Cavalier? Sep 3, 2008
My father is intrigued with Alexandre Dumas and his writing style. He searched and searched for this book at a warehouse store but had no success. I finally just purchased it for him and to my surprise he was happy and is enjoying it at his leisure.
Dumas' Last Stand Jul 17, 2008
I haven't read Alexandre Dumas since I was a teen (a long time ago), but I remember "The Three Musketeers" and "The Count of Monte Cristo" quite well. Then again, what I remember best may be the movie versions I watched again and again as a kid. When I saw that a "lost" novel had been published for the first time, I thought it was time to revisit Dumas' work. I'm glad that I did.
As a finished unfinished novel, "The Last Cavalier" is fair and worth three "stars." It was originally published as a newspaper serial and Dumas never had the chance to re-edit/rewrite it for book publication as he did his other works. Dumas was paid by the word, and there are thousands here that would surely have been cut. The titular hero, Hector (René, Comte Leo) de Sainte-Hermine, is over the top invincible and incomparable. He has no flaws (in a Doc Savage, pulp fiction, sort of way), so it's hard to identify with him; and Dumas interrupts Hector's story too often with what's happening elsewhere in history. Did I mention he was paid by the word? Still, Hector's panache and romp through Napoleonic history is a tour de force worth reading. Characters like George Cadoudal, the corsair (privateer) Surcouf, Napoleon, Nelson at Trafalgar, and Minister of Police Fouché come alive with idiosyncrasies and feats of personal codes of honor to delight any swashbuckling fan.
For me, as a writer, what was even more fascinating was the book's preface by Claude Schopp, who found and reconstructed the novel. In it, Dumas is quoted as saying that he is "more a novelizing historian than a historical novelist." In this light, I look at the book as more of a history than a novel and am interested in re-exploring Dumas' other books from that perspective. Also, in the preface is a letter from Dumas outlining his complete plan for the novel. It is as complete a synopsis of the whole story as any editor could wish for. So it was great to be able to refer to that and see where and how Dumas added and changed the story line (Hector's entire time as a seaman and in India are not in the outline). This alone was worth the extra "star."
I highly recommend this book to any reader, Dumas fan or not.
The story is great..... Mar 1, 2008
As I read The Last Cavalier by Alexander Dumas I couldn't help but think I was reading a story intended for people in the nineteenth century. Certainly, Alexander Dumas himself never thought as he penned this story that it would premier in the 21st century.
Let me admit right up front that I am not a Dumas scholar and I haven't read all of his works. Like many I've restricted myself to The Three Muskateers and The Count of Monte Cristo, probably to my misfortune. But now I can chalk up another Dumas novel, and a fair one at that. Who knows, maybe I'll read them all.
The Last Cavalier is the story of Compte Hector de Sainte Hermine, a royalist who is put off by the young blade Napoleon. Imprisoned and then released, Hector heads to sea where the real drama of this story rests. However, in the end I never felt that sympathetic to the main character or his plight, and I'm not really sure he's that likable. I also had a hard time getting through the book. I stopped on several occasions to read other books. I always knew I'd return, but it did take a commitment to finish. It's not the page turner The Three Muskateers is, nor does it have the drama of The Count of Monte Cristo. In the end it is probably unfair to compare The Last Cavalier to these earlier works since The Last Cavalier wasn't finished. I suspect Dumas might have edited and perhaps rewritten parts of this work.
If you're a Dumas fan then I recommend The Last Cavalier.
Peace to all
Dumas' Last Word Feb 10, 2008
As a fan of the action packed novels of Dumas, especially The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, and as a Napoleonic Europe buff, I couldn't wait to read this newly discovered novel. While the book has many highlights, overall I found it to be a bit of a disappointment.
The hero, Hector de Sainte-Hermine, had a bit too much of the Comte da Monte Cristo in him. Both men are fabulously wealthy, both use time in prison to become highly skilled in a number of areas, and both have a excursions among the banditti of Southern Italia.
While the two heroes also have many differences, these simularities remind the reader too much of a vastly superior Dumas novel. And perhaps this is the downfall of The Last Cavalier.
For the devoted Dumas fan or someone looking to enjoy an action packed saga set in the glory days of Bonaparte, I would recommend this novel. Otherwise, read Monte-Cristo, twice, you'll enjoy it more.
P.S. Don't let the unfinished aspect of the novel disuade you from reading it. The editor has included a letter written by Dumas that basically outlines the entire plot, including the parts that the author never had a chance to finish writing.
Difficult to slog through. Unlike all other Dumas. Jan 23, 2008
If you're a Dumas fanatic like me, you'll probably want to read this book just for closure, regardless of what I say! But I'll write a review anyway. The problem with a novel like this is that I don't know what flaws are attributable to Dumas and the possibility that he was slipping, or cutting corners, as he got older, and what's attributable to the person who finished writing the novel.
It could have been much better if it were written as two separate volumes: one, the general history of the Napoleonic era which is presented in the book, and the other, the history of the Comte de Sainte-Hermine. So much of this very large book has nothing at all to do with the titular character. In fact we are well into the book before the man ever shows up. Then in a chaperoned tete-a-tete with the woman he loves, he divulges the entire history of the Sainte-Hermine family to date. (So we don't learn about his previous history as it's happening, as with Edmond Dantes in "The Count of Monte Cristo"; we're simply given several pages of Sainte-Hermine hitting the highlights for his intended. They become engaged, and at the betrothal dinner he mysteriously vanishes before signing the wedding contract.
Then we have another huge section about Napoleon, the Royalist rebels, etc. A very long section! It was a very GOOD section but I'd totally forgotten about Sainte-Hermine when suddenly we learn he is in prison and begging Fouche to execute him rather than keep him a prisoner. This brief scene takes a few pages...then it's back to a whole big, big section about Napoleon and his troubles. It made me wonder why this book was titled after Sainte-Hermine, since up to about the midpoint of the book, he's a completely minor character...almost a glorified extra.
At the approximate middle of the book, however, the Comte gets out of prison (legally) and the narrative switches to actually being about his life as he is living it. From here to the end it's mostly a very entertaining story of Sainte-Hermine and what's happening in his life, with a few sprinkles of the regular history in the background. This is how I expected the book to be from the start. So it sort of evened out in the middle and got better as it went along.
This also suffers from comparisons to the similar Monte Cristo. In the latter, we know that Edmond has spent his jail time learning from the Abbe Faria and then that he spent the next X years undercover, learning things to create his Monte Cristo persona. Sainte-Hermine, by comparison, spends three years in prison, during which we are told that his hobby is reading. Afterwards, though, he comes directly out of prison and into the narrative, where he shows himself to be an expert at just about everything, including (!) chugging three bottles of champagne that have been poured into a big bowl, and showing no ill effects. Don't you thimk a man just out of a 3-year prison stint would have some difficulty holding his liquor?
So, as a Dumas fanatic I'm glad I read this, but I'd have to rank it absolute last on the Dumas list. If he had stuck to a plain historical novel of the time of Napoleon, then, well, it would probably still be last on the list, but not by as wide a margin.