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Queen Margot, or Marguerite de Valois (The Last Valois #1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  7,044 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Released to coincide with the new Miramac film starring Isabelle Adjani, this is the classic novel unavailable for over 25 years. Massacres, conspiracies, clandestine trysts, secret alliances, daring escapes, sumptuous feasts, and duels of wit propel the action in this delightful story of French royalty during the 16th century. Advertising with movie.
Paperback, 542 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by Miramax Books (first published 1844)
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Best Historical Fiction
449th out of 5,370 books — 20,605 voters
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasThe Three Musketeers by Alexandre DumasA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensSpirit of Lost Angels by Liza PerratThe Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
Historical Fiction - France
7th out of 252 books — 174 voters

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Community Reviews

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If you're one of those people who lick their finger before turning over the page, I strongly recommend that you don't read this book. Particularly if you're on the paranoid side.
SO much better than I expected it to be. The book is long, but the story moves at such a fast pace and so much happens that you don't even notice. All the characters are fascinating, and my personal favorite was Catherine d'Medici, who wins the award for Worst Mother-in-Law Ever. I swear, she spends all her time trying to poison just about everybody in the book. She kills one person with poisoned gloves, then fills somebody's lamp with poisoned oil so the vapors smother them, and then she poison ...more
By turns highly unlikely and highly hilarious, Dumas' La Reine Margot is a wildly uneven, careening tale that knows perfectly well what it is and wants your gasps, sighs, and unbidden, unstoppable, "Oh no he didn't!"s. Or perhaps I should say "Oh no she didn't!" as the most shocking, ridiculously amazingly evil and awful moments are reserved for the truly unbelievable Satan of the piece, Catherine de Medici. She spends most of the book figuring out new ways to poison, arrest and assassinate anyo ...more
It’s 1572 and in an effort to ease tensions between the Catholics and the Huguenots Henry III King of Navarre is married to Marguerite de Valois (Margot). Shortly after the marriage the Huguenots are slaughtered at the order of Charles IX and his mother Catherine de Medicis on Saint Bartholomew’s Day. Catherine is also bent on destroying Henry as her astrologer has foretold that her three sons will die and Henry of Navarre will rule France through the Bourbon line. Margot's dashing lover La Mole ...more
I LOVE the first 3/4 of this book. It's full of action, humor, wit, and a little romance. Also, Queen Margot herself: gorgeous, smart, and clear-headed yet passionate. I love Dumas' use of suspense through implication in this book - as when he describes the events leading up to a poisoning at great length but without ever explicitly saying what is happening until after it's over. Lots of very funny French irony (my favorite bits were dialogue in which the various royal folks were pretending they ...more
Jul 30, 2012 Daniella rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction who aren't too nitpicky.
Apparently, Queen Margot was originally published serially in several newspapers and magazines of the day, and I imagine that it was basically the 19th century French equivalent of a soap opera. It certainly reads like one. But guess how many fucks I give? None! Not a single fuck.

Don't get me wrong--I'm really not the kind of girl who enjoys that sort of thing. Space operas, yes. Soap operas and generally similar things? Not so much. But come on, how can I not love this book? Courtly intrigues!
Set against the backdrop of the ghastly wars of religion, and in particular the infamous St Bartholomew's Day massacre, Alexandre Dumas presents an action-packed plot written with much wit, subtlety and irony.

Ho iniziato questo libro circa un anno fa... ed ahimè se ci ho messo tanto per terminarlo. L'ho interrotto e ripreso innumerevoli volte. Purtroppo non sono riuscita ad instaurare un rapporto d'amore immediato con questo testo come per tutti gli altri testi di Dumas, che a mio avviso è uno dei più grandi scrittori mai esistiti.

Penso che il problema sia stato sostanzialmente uno. Conoscevo già la storia. Essendo un'amante della storia, in particolar modo della storia moderna, conoscevo ogni minimo
Dumas, the Rossini of literature, churned out an impressive amount of his time's pop-historical novels. He wrote about most, if not all, time periods this side of year 1000. But boy are they fun! (much like Rossini's silly but terribly convoluted yet always lighthearted operas, his books never let deep thoughts/issues get in the way of proper fun). I got into Dumas when I was very young (the books were all over the place at my parents', my aunt's and my grandparents') and THIS, a battered, cover ...more
I found this book on a books market and bought it for like 1 euro or so, and it was an euro very well spent. It's about the war between the Catholics and the Hugenots, I think it even tops Three Musketeers in my personal opinion. It has the same amount of adventure and sword fighting, but even more royal intrigues and more humor (note to self: Kotzbombenelement - the word Cocconas is using for like everything he's amazed by)... I would certainly recommend this book to everyone who likes great st ...more
"Tu hai perduto or ora un caro amico, lo so... Ma guardami, Margot: io non ho forse perduto tutti i miei amici, e per di più mia madre? Tu hai sempre potuto piangere liberamente come fai in questo momento; io, anche nell'ora dei più atroci tormenti, sono sempre stato costretto a sorridere. Tu soffri, ma guardami: io muoio!... Dunque, Margot, ti prego, fatti un po' di coraggio! [...]"
Natalie Rose
Hands-down, my favorite book of all time. Hot sex, political intrigue, beautiful language, battles surrounding religion- and all within the context of true history. It just doesn't get better! I just read it for the fourth time....sigh.
Everything I need to know about French history, I learned from Dumas :)
Princess Becca
Although this intricately-woven historical novel takes a while to get through (I've been at it for two months) it isn't because of a bog-like style on the part of Dumas – on the contrary, the narrative flows easily – it's simply because it's a long story with numerous episodes. As the reader follows the fates of La Mole, Marguerite de Navarre's dandy lover, his rival-turned-brother Coconnas, the scheming, heinous Catherine de Medici, and the brave and cunning Henri de Navarre, future king of Fra ...more
Julia Boechat Machado
O Massacre de São Bartolomeu é talvez o mais interessante evento histórico que os brasileiros por algum motivo não aprendem na escola.
Felizmente, quem quer começar a aprender algo pode ler A Rainha Margot.
A época e os personagens sempre me fascinaram - e eu queria que o livro tivesse o triplo do tamanho, para passar mais tempo com eles. Eu passei muito tempo procurando livros sobre Marguerite de Valois, Catherine de Medici, Charles IX, Henri III, Henri IV, François d'Anjou (na época desse livro,
Queen Margot is one of the best novels unparalleled Alexandra Dumas. Courtly intrigues, conspiracies, manslaughters, affairs, love affairs, friendships, headstrong duels and betrayals that's all it is possible to find in the novel. I read the book of couples of years for it but I remember that she made a huge impression on me and became a reason for reaching for other novels of the authorship of Mr Dumas.
Today whereas for me reflection is arising: trashy and shallow tales have a 90% of evaluatio
Aug 30, 2012 Brenda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history fans
Shelves: favourites
Out of all the Dumas books I've read (and I think I've read them all) I love this one the most. It is not for the squeamish though as it takes in the horrible night of the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre and there is a lot of violence, cruelty, betrayals and intrigue.

This book has got it all, it's dark and sexy and retains your interest throughout. If you prefer visuals I would recommend you watch the movie: Whateve
I give up on this at sixty-something percent. The rating might have been different, had I read it some 15 years ago. But then again, I tried reading 'The Count of Monte Christo' and 'Vocomte de Bragelonne' back then and couldn't get through. So maybe Dumas is just not my cup of tea.
If I compare literature to visual or performing arts, some novels are theatre, some are movies and others are cartoons. This book was the latter - one dimensional; based solely on direct speech, adventure, gossip and
What a great rollicking swashbuckling tale, poisons, murders, hiding in cupboards, adultery, treachery and sacrifice. And beautiful women and handsome men. Kings, (more than one) queens (two), dukes, noblemen and two handsome adventurers from the provinces. And all based (loosely) on the actual last years of the Valois dynasty in C16th France. I did get lost from time to time (my bad) but got back on track and became swept up in the wonderful story and easy story telling style of Dumas. Unless y ...more
Ed Lehman
Being a Dumas fan, I don't know how this book escaped my attention. While reading the book, I was constantly referring to other sources to verify the history...and of course, Dumas took liberties...but, wow, what an amazing period. Queen Margot is the sister to the new King Charles (IX), her father and older brother having already died as Kings beforehand. Her mother is the evil Catherine de Medici who will do anything to keep the throne in the House of Valois. Charles IX arranges for his next-i ...more
Man, nobody (at least not that I’ve read) writes court intrigue like Dumas. So many twists and turns, and although you’re reasonably confident about who’s backstabbing whom at any given time, you’re never sure who’s actually going to come out on top. Up to a point, of course. Henri de Navarre did eventually become king of France, so one could be pretty confident that he wasn’t going to die, despite certain characters’ best efforts. Everyone else, though, was pretty much fair game, and some death ...more
Ten years ago I saw an old book with yellow pages covered in dust on the top shelf of the library at home. The title reminded me of few frames of nudity and violence that I had seen in a movie trailer some time ago. Out of curiosity I started reading the novel completely unaware of what I was about to experience. There isn't a year that goes by without recalling the events that took place in Paris in the night of 24th August, 1572. The story is dynamic, enchanting but also realistic, I dare say. ...more
Czarny Pies
Apr 22, 2015 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amateurs du genre cape et épée
Shelves: french-lit
Chez la Reine Margot on trouve Alexandre Dumas en grande forme meme s'il n'est pas tout à fait au sommet de son art. Le point fort de ce roman est la mise en accusation que fait Dumas de la famille royale Valois qui dirige la France de maniere incompétent et déloyale. Les Valois sous leur chef Cathérine n'ont aucune aptitude ni à la gestion publique ni à la résolution des différends par voie de négociations. A chaque tour ils choisissent d'assassiner leurs adversaires soit par l'empoisonnement s ...more
I read The Three Musketeers in 5th grade for the first time and have been re-reading periodically since then. There is no doubt that Dumas is a master of well-written historical fiction, permeated by intrigue and memorable characters. Queen Margot doesn't fall short of these expectations. Whether historically accurate or not, the portrayal of Catherine de Medici, a controversial figure to say the least, is dramatic. Who can forget her blood-stained fingers or the cold machinations? Ambition and ...more
Dumas è sempre una conferma. Questo libro avevo già tentato di leggerlo anni fa, senza successo, forse un po' annoiata dalla parte storica. Ora invece l'ho ripreso e letto con piacere. Dumas è un asso nell'escogitare trame degne della miglior telenovela, lasciando il lettore in qualche modo in sospeso fino alla fine, anche quando non c'è più nulla da svelare.
This is a 19th century airplane novel but even so, it's a bit of a slog. Everyone in this book seems to be called Henry or Charles. It's very B-grade, even for Dumas; for example, the villainous mother-in-law emerges from her top secret alchemy laboratory and there's a white vapour in the air and she says something like, 'Oh, that noxious smell? I'm just burning some old papers with juniper, as one does.' And while she says this, she's trying to hide her poison-stained hands.

And who would reall
Dumas is always a fun writer; his books contain sword fights, friends, enemies , Kings, Queens and Princes. Tis one ups the ante a bit by including historical characters, lots of poisenings and double-crossers. There is even double-crossings of the double crossers only to be double-crossed again. Very fun book
Renee M
My favorite Dumas. This book has everything. History, Adventure, Intrigue, Romance, Religion, Battles, Poison, Incest, Pathos, Humor... EVERYTHING!
Catherine D'Medici is the scariest, creepiest, most terrifying villainess. But she is absolutely fabulous to read.
Dec 21, 2014 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Dumas fans
Recommended to Laura by: Misfit
The first book of the trilogy on the Valois. Now I must read La Dame de Monsereau and Les Quarante-cinq. I don't understand how L"Academie Francaise didn't recognize Dumas pere work, only of his son with La Dame de Camelies.
Helen Pattison de bellasis
Fast-paced action, but some of the characters are pretty flat, all the women seem to be beautiful strangely, and La Mole is a saint. Rene is interesting, he's a poisoner who tries to stop somebody getting poisoned. A lot of changing sides and positions from some characters.. Some things feel a bit too hard to believe - that La Mole would get a wax figure done to make Marguerite love him? I like the open ending, leaves you with a lot of questions that I'm still pondering even though I finished it ...more
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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 Last Valois (5 books)
  • Chicot the Jester (The Last Valois, #2)
  • The Forty-Five Guardsmen (The Last Valois, #3)
  • La Dame de Monsoreau. Volume 1 (The Last Valois, #2)
  • La dame de Monsoreau, Tome 2 (The Last Valois, #2)
The Count of Monte Cristo The Three Musketeers The Man in the Iron Mask (The D'Artagnan Romances, #3) Robin Hood, The Prince of Thieves Twenty Years After (The D'Artagnan Romances, #2)

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“Women are never so strong as after their defeat.” 246 likes
“...know you not that you are my sun by day, and my star by night? By my faith! I was in deepest darkness till you appeared and illuminated all.” 54 likes
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