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Joseph Balsamo
Alexandre Dumas
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Joseph Balsamo (The Marie Antoinette Romances #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  762 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Features one of the strangest characters in literature, Joseph Balsamo, also known as Cagliostro (later a key figure in the Affair of the Necklace). An alchemist, conspirator, and Freemason, Balsamo figures prominently in the eventual downfall of the French monarchy.
614 pages
Published 1910 by A. L. Burt (first published 1846)
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Joseph Balsamo I

The original French text is available at La Bibliothèque électronique du Québec.

La série « Mémoires d’un médecin » comprend les romans suivants :
Joseph Balsamo (4 volumes)
Le collier de la reine (3 volumes)
Ange Pitou (2 volumes)
La comtesse de Charny (4 volumes)
Lhe Chevalier de Maison Rouge.

Publié de 1846 à 1848, elle traite des dernières années du règne de Louis XV et des prémices de la Révolution.
Édition de référence : Éditions Rencontre, 1964.

Opening lines:
Sur la rive gauche du
I read this story in two volumes: the Collier editions of _Joseph Balsamo_ and _Memoirs of a Physician_ (which are great translations). I will admit first of all that the first time I attempted to read these I didn't get very far into the book before abandoning it. I think this was due mostly to my expectations, since this story is not really a swashbuckling adventure tale (though it has its share of intrigue) and I was expecting something more like _The Three Musketeers_. I'm glad that I gave t ...more
Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book one in Dumas' tale of The French Revolution. Joseph Balsamo begins with a meeting in the dead of night high in the mountains as a group of robed and hooded freemasons from around the world meet to plot the fall of the French Monarchy (it's actually more complicated than that, but I'm not going to try to put it into words). The leader of this group, Joseph Balsamo, then takes shelter in a storm at the impoverished household of the Baron de Taverney and his daughter Andrée and things then bec ...more
Maryam Shahriari
به طرز وحشتناكي از خوندن اين كتاب لذت بردم.
مترجمش نوشته بود كه خيلي از خوندنش خوشتون مياد و بعد از خوندن اين كتاب ديگه از بقيه كتاب هاي تاريخي خوشتون نمياد ها! فكر مي كردم الكي نوشته! ولي اين كتاب 3 جلدي كه نزديك 1350 صفحه بود به قدري براي من جالب بود كه توي حدود 5-6 روز تمومش كردم.

هنر نويسنده حرف نداشت! وقتي شروع به خوندن مي كردم نمي تونستم به راحتي از پاش بلند بشم.... خيلي عالي بود! خيلي!
Feb 05, 2016 Elham rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book and it's sequels about the French revolution are definitely among the best books ever written about history, I don't care how much of it is true and has happened in reality. The character Joseph Balsamo is very unique and charismatic, all the time you read the book to see what he wants to say or do, in my opinion the part written about Loranza's death is one of the saddest and most impressing moments ever written in a book. I highly recommend reading this book to all people who are int ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Bruce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of five historical novels in Dumas’ Marie Antoinette series. The title character, Joseph Balsamo, is modeled after the 18th century Italian adventurer and “occultist”, Alessandro Cagliostro. At the novel’s opening he meets with a group of fellow Freemasons and initiates a vast plot to bring down the French Monarchy. The plot traces his machinations during the time of Marie Antoinette’s travels from Austria to Paris to wed the future Louis XVI, ending shortly after their marriag ...more
May 05, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was amazing, frankly speaking. I daresay that it was even better than the better-known novels by Dumas, e.g. 'Count of Monte Cristo'. The plot was complex with unexpected twists in every chapter, and I love how Dumas builds his characters - my favourites were duc de Richelieu and Nicole - you really start to think with them, worry about them, care for them. Apart from the intrigues at court, I also liked the 'metaphysical' parts, described in an unusual and fascinating way. I definitely ...more
Oct 04, 2015 Siemomysła rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Jedna z tych książek, przy których do samego końca, nie jestem w stanie powiedzieć, komu kibicuję. Nie potrafię też jednoznacznie określić, co dla autora było przewodnim motywem utworu, co tak naprawdę chciał przekazać czytelnikowi. Czy jest to opowieść o różnicach społecznych, których nie sposób zniwelować, tak głęboko wżarły się w ludzkie przyzwyczajenia? Czy o tym, że istoty pół-boskie za jakich niegdyś uważało się królów, tak naprawdę niczym nie różnią się od każdego innego człowieka? I czy ...more
Ann Chan
Jun 02, 2015 Ann Chan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exciting. Keeps moving. Lots of characters whose lives entertwine. Keeps you wanting to read non-stop.
Sep 14, 2007 Naghmeh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
balsamo marde royahaye mane kheili shakhsiatesho doost midaram... zende bad duma
Alexandre Dumas est connu pour son roman Le Comte de Monte-Cristo , ou encore sa célèbre trilogie mettant en scène les mousquetaires. Cependant, il est également l'auteur d'une fresque historique retraçant la fin du règne de Louis XV jusqu'à la Révolution française avec la mort de Louis XVI. Cette œuvre s'intitule Mémoires d'un médecin , et comprend six ouvrages, bien que le dernier n'en fasse pas officiellement partie malgré sa continuité avec les événements des tomes précédents. Le premier vo ...more
Peyman Rastgoo (پیمان راستگو )
کتاب ژوزف بالسامو اثر الکساندر دوما یکی از بهترین رمان های تاریخی دنیاست و درست گفت ذبیح ال... منصوری که وقتی این رمان و رمان مکملش یعنی غرش طوفان رو میخونی دیگه هیچ رمانی به دل آدم نمی چسبه خلاصه ی این کتاب و غرش رو می توان در گفتگوی لوییز و لویی پانزدهم در جلد اول ژوزف بالسامو پیدا کرد اونجایی که لوییز بعد از تعریف وضع بد زندگی مردم میگه : تمام این اشخاص چه در شهر و چه در مزارع و قراء و قصبات تا دیروز ناله می کردند ولی امروز دیگر ناله نمی کنند بلکه از دهان آنها غرش بیرون می آید و مشت های خود ر ...more
Oana Manole
Dec 20, 2014 Oana Manole marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Hello, I've started reading Joseph Balsamo this summer but I got bored half way through the book and so I stopped. Could someone give me a quick summary of the plot and what relationships the characters have with each other as I want to start reading it again but I don't want to start all the way from the beginning? It would be much appreciated. Thank you. :)
Iggy Zuleta
entertaining as always from Dumas. I was not expecting such fantasy from balsamo and it kind of threw me off a times from the book. Nevertheless the series seems to be very entertaining and I couldn't put the book down once I started. For anyone who likes the revolution era and books revolving around it, this is another one to read.
Mar 09, 2013 Stefanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the 1910 Collier edition of this book, the first of the six-book Marie Antoinette series (this copy says that the order is Joseph Balsamo, Memoirs of a Physician, The Queen's Necklace, Taking the Bastile, The Countess de Charny, and The Chevalier de Maison-Rouge). Classic Dumas! I especially enjoyed the appearance of Jean-Jacques Rousseau as a character. Other reviewers here have summarized the book much more eloquently than I have the ambition to right now; suffice it to say that I very ...more
Oct 24, 2011 Olivierco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, in-french
This book is as good as the Count of Monte Cristo, perhaps even better.
The action takes places at the end of Louis XV's reign so we meet la Dauphine Marie-Antoinette, le Dauphin (who will reign later as Louis XVI), la comtesse du Barry, le duc de Richelieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jean-Paul Marat and many others.

Be sure to get the whole book (1500 pages) as many editions referenced in GR are only the first or the second part of this novel.
Dec 29, 2015 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to read,but i really enjoy the story all the characters provided just enough to create an interesting story. we find in this book surprises, adventure, humor , i liked the metaphysical parts , Dumas’s style is captivating, the story is exciting.
next in the series The Queen's Necklace
Arad invisible
ghshang tarin vva ziba tarin romane tarikhi bud ke man be omram khunde buudam
hanuz bad az khundane in roman hiiich ketabi be jazabie in kettab nadidam
ja dare az motarjemesham ghadr dani beshe
zabihola mansurii tarjome ravani az in ketab karde ke dastesh dard nakone

7 jelde baghie in ketab ham ghoreshe tufane ke be nazare man in 10 jeld jozve arzandetarin va ziba tarin romanhaye tarikh hastan
Dec 07, 2008 Count rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ketabaye duma takan albate pedar na pesar radebandiye man betartib 1-ghoreshe tofan 2. jozef balsamo 3. 3tofangdar 4. ghabl az tofan 5. count monte cristo 5. madam dupari man 4ataye avalo har kodomo ta alan 2bar khondam hich ketabiam dost nadaram bekhonam agar ketabi dige az dumaye pedar soragh darin begin mamnon misham
Feb 23, 2008 Amir-massoud rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this book many years ago. It is quite possible that I don't like such a book anymore (especially that this is not really Alexander Dumas' book; it is co-authored by Zabihollah Mansouri too!), but I enjoyed soooo much when I was reading this book (and its sequel: Ghorresh'e Toofan) for the first time.
Apr 25, 2012 Exina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read it as a child (at the age of 13), borrowing it from my parents’ bookshelves, and I was stunned by it. Still remember it vividly.

Dumas’s style is captivating, the story is exciting and engaging. One of the most memorable classics I’ve ever read.
Feb 27, 2008 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dumas-et-al
Balsamo is one of his most interesting characters, a mystic and freemason who is sort of evil and horrible but sort of wonderful and noble — a classic complex and multilayered Dumas hero. He reappears in several Dumas titles. This is one of my favorite Dumas.
Carol Spears
Jul 08, 2014 Carol Spears rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: smoothing
The author also wrote the Three Musketeers and Robinhood. It is full of fun crap like secret societies and magic (mesmerism and "sleep seeing") and is also a snarky report of the French gentry before the revolution.
Dec 20, 2009 Theresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Not my favorite Dumas tale, but entertaining nonetheless. Andree and Gilbert are the most interesting characters in the story, but what really fascinated me were the glimpses of the French court at Versailles.
Paulo Muller
Joseph Balsamo é um romance histórico de Alexandre Dumas.
É a primeira parte de uma série de livros intitulada "Memórias de um Médico" que é seguida por O Colar da Rainha, Ange Pitou e A Condessa de Charny.
Sep 23, 2013 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Dumas. Filled with all the intrigues of the royal court and a little action. I liked the whole sorcerer aspect of Balsamo, who in the end is only human.
Mar 05, 2007 sanaz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
one of the most wonderfull books I ever read. because of that book, I met my best friend 17 years ago. and even now, I enjoy reading that book!!!
Duy Thọ
Sep 16, 2012 Duy Thọ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Found it on an old book store sometime between 2001-2002.
The edition was split into 4 volumes with almost 1600 pages.

Arash Azkia
در اين دورهء سه جلدي كه از ديگر آفريدههاي جاودان الكساندر دوما ميباشد، با دوران سلطنت لويي پانزدهم آشنا خواهيم شد ...more
Sep 30, 2010 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It gets interesting once you get about 100 pages in. I look forward to the next one in the series.
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This note regards Alexandre Dumas, père, the father of Alexandre Dumas, fils (son). For the son, see Alexandre Dumas.

Alexandre Dumas, père (French for "father", akin to Senior in English), born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. Many of his no
More about Alexandre Dumas...

Other Books in the Series

The Marie Antoinette Romances (5 books)
  • The Queen's Necklace
  • Taking the Bastile
  • The Countess de Charny
  • The Knight of Maison-Rouge

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