Tag Archives: swashbucklers

GEORGES (1843): ALEXANDRE DUMAS NOVEL ABOUT A SWORDSMAN FIGHTING SLAVERY

Mascot sword and pistolAlexandre 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 Brotherswhich in reality lacks any true action elements, has long been adapted as if it’s a swashbuckler. That’s a shame since there are other novels by Alexandre Dumas which are loaded with action and historical intrigue yet have been largely overlooked when it comes to movies and television. 

GeorgesGEORGES (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

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Filed under Neglected History

ALEXANDRE DUMAS’ THE BLACK TULIP AS A SWASHBUCKLER

black tulip 2Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will remember my review of three neglected swashbuckler novels by Alexandre Dumas. (For those three – Georges, Captain Pamphile and La Dame de Monsoreau click HERE )

Regular readers will also recall my look at the way Dumas’ The Corsican Brothers is NOT really a swashbuckler story in the spirit of The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo or The Man in the Iron Mask, but because it’s a Dumas tale it often gets adapted AS IF it’s an action-oriented sword and pistol saga. 

And that brings us to Dumas’ novel The Black Tulip set in the Netherlands’ city of Haarlem in the 1670s.

black tulip 3When I was a little boy thrilled with the Musketeers, Monte Cristo and Iron Mask I excitedly grabbed The Black Tulip to read, assuming it, too would feature derring-do and swordplay. Much to my disappointment the novel instead dealt with attempts to cultivate a black tulip, the mob-slaying of Netherlands politicians Johann and Cornelius  de Witt, romance and the redemption of personal honor.

Using the approach of the adaptors of The Corsican Brothers, let’s MAKE The Black Tulip a rousing swashbuckler just because it’s by Dumas.

THE BLACK TULIP (1850) – I would make it so that “the Black Tulip” was a masked and costumed identity adopted by the novel’s hero Dr Cornelius Van Baerle in order to pursue his crusade to redeem his family honor, tainted from the scandal following the grisly slaying of the de Witts (Insert your own Joyce de Witt joke here). Continue reading

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Filed under Pulp Heroes

NEGLECTED DUMAS SWASHBUCKLER: LA DAME DE MONSOREAU

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    

Le Dame de MonsoreauLA 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

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Filed under Neglected History, opinion

ALEXANDRE DUMAS: NEGLECTED NOVELS

Alexandre Dumas

“HELLO DERE!”

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. 

GeorgesGEORGES (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

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Filed under Neglected History, opinion