Alexandre Dumas pere is synonymous with swashbuckling historical adventures like The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Man in the Iron Mask.
His name became SO associated with swordplay and intrigue that even a Dumas novel like The Corsican Brothers, which in reality lacks any true action elements, has long been adapted as if it’s a swashbuckler. That has always involved altering the original story beyond recognition, which is why no two Corsican Brothers movies bear much resemblance to each other and can’t even seem to agree on a time period.
That’s a shame since plenty of other novels by Alexandre Dumas are loaded with action and historical intrigue yet have been largely overlooked when it comes to movies and television.
GEORGES (1843) – Published just one year before The Three Musketeers, this novel is not only a rollicking adventure full of action, romance and double-crosses but it deals with racial issues in such a way that you would have thought it would have been adapted for film four or five decades ago. The title character uses his sword to fight slavery! Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s recent look at neglected swashbuckler novels by Alexandre Dumas of The Three Musketeers fame was popular enough that here’s a bonus novel. FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE REVIEWING THE NOVELS GEORGES AND CAPTAIN PAMPHILE CLICK HERE
LA DAME DE MONSOREAU (1846) – A collaboration with Auguste Maquet. The title refers to the beautiful and fascinating Countess Diana de Monsoreau and her illicit romance with the novel’s male lead, Louis de Clermont de Bussy d’Amboise. Both characters are real but naturally Dumas and Maquet take the usual poetic license accorded to historical fiction.
Louis is remembered as a larger than life figure in the court of French King Henry III. He was a deadly swordsman who thumbed his nose at many of the King’s courtiers while laughing at jealous husbands and tailor’s bills as he romped his way in and out of countless beds. He could get away with this because he was the favorite of King Henry III’s younger brother, Francois, the Duke of Anjou.
Even Francois’ patronage was good for only so much, since Henry wielded all the true power and considered Francois a potential rival. While fighting on various battlefields and in assorted duels Louis also walked that tightrope at court, where on any given day one miscalculation or one insult taken too far could bring about his ruin. Continue reading