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The Last Cavalier: Being the Adventures of Count Sainte-Hermine in the Age of Napoleon
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The Last Cavalier: Being the Adventures of Count Sainte-Hermine in the Age of Napoleon (The Sainte-Hermine Cycle #3)

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  379 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Selected as a Top Ten Book of the Year by The Washington Post: the newly discovered last novel by the author of The Three Musketeers. 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...more
Hardcover, 751 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Pegasus Books (first published 1870)
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War and Peace by Leo TolstoyUlysses by James JoyceDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes SaavedraLes Misérables by Victor HugoAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Intimidating books I long to read/finish
52nd out of 127 books — 211 voters
War and Peace by Leo TolstoyThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMaster and Commander by Patrick O'BrianHis Majesty's Dragon by Naomi NovikJonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Napoleonic Novels
16th out of 133 books — 44 voters


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Community Reviews

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Misfit
A Dumas novel no one new existed! What a find this must have been, to discover an unknown work of Dumas hidden away in the Library of Paris. As the novel opens, it is the dawn of the 19th century and Napoleon rules as First Consul, not yet having being having been crowned Emperor, and the Royalist forces are still battling to restore the crown. Our hero, Hector, the Count Sainte-Hermine has seen his father and two older brothers nobly die for the Royalist cause. During a brief truce, Hector hope...more
Gerald Sinstadt
A lost masterpiece? Not for me. The frequent disruption to narrative thrust noted by another reviewer eventually became too much - I gave upon page 421. Dumas' strengths are undeniably there but payment by quantity undermines him. When Napoleon goes to hear a performance of The Creation, most of a page is given to a biography of Haydn; when St Hermine arrives in St Malo, a whole chapter relates the port's history; when his ship arrives at Mauritius, the narrative stalls again for another chapter...more
Phil
The discovery of this "lost" final novel by Alexandre Dumas (pere) certainly had to be the literary find of the year. if not the decade, and maybe the 20th century.

Dumas, who wrote voluminously, wrote his novel serially, that is, in installments, being paid by the line. He cleverly had written into his contracts, that he reserved the right to edit those installments into individual novels, which were best-sellers in their day.

Dumas died, however, before his final novel was finished, and hence, n...more
Jaime
I love Dumas books. Lots of history with engaging fictional characters woven in to bring the stories to life. I would say that Sainte-Hermine is a blend of d'Artagnan and Edmund Dantes. I was sad to discover that Dumas did not finish writing this book, but was very glad that he wrote a letter (which is included in the front of the book) that quickly tells what his intentions for the end of the book were. If you do not want to spoil the ending, wait to read the letter until after you have finishe...more
Frances
Jul 14, 2011 Frances rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like historical fiction, anyone ages 13 and up
I've enjoyed all the other Dumas novels I've read so far, and this was no exception. I couldn't put it down and read it in three days! The characters are wonderful; the men are honourable and the women are feminine (things we've almost lost in today's culture), and it was an inspiring read. There was a sense of respect and honour even between enemies, and it was refreshing to see them do the right thing even if it meant personal loss.

Dumas adds a lot of historical background information about t...more
Melissa
Dumas does it again, taking a story fantastic all on its own and giving it that extra umph with its mixture of historical back round and settings. Dumas is my favorite author for many reasons, one being the author of my favorite book The Count of Monte Cristo and another being his complex plots and set ups involving many characters. Despite being his largest book The Last Cavalier is engrossing and exciting. The worst thing about this book is it is unfinished, however if you pick up on some o...more
Jeanette
This is one of those books that when you first pick it up...it's so heavy you may drop it. Knowing what a great author Dumas was after reading The Count of Monte Cristo I knew that I wouldn't be disappointed. There are so many characters in this spun novel that you would think you would get lost in all the details....but it couldn't be any further from the truth. These characters were so real & so awesome that I simply didn't want the story to end. When I turned to the last page I was so dis...more
Dorene
Heartbreaking ending, as the novel was unfinished by Dumas before he died.

All of the romantic elements are there, and the voyage is one of Dumas' greatest as you walk along side with Napoleon, Nelson, into the raw jungles of Burma, and wait ever patiently for true love to be validated as was fore told by the fortune teller - yet it is not, we are left hanging.

The Count Sainte-Hermine embodies all of the heroic elements that makes Dumas' men so grand and larger than life. He reinforces the humbl...more
Julia Boechat Machado
Menos maniqueísta e mais cheio de reflexões religiosas, éticas e filosóficas do que os outros livros, mas falta alívio cômico do Ciclo dos Mosqueteiros ou dos Valois. Fiquei curiosa pelo que poderia ter sido, embora já estivesse um pouco cansada do cavaleiro de Sainte-Hermine, atirador, esgrimista, musicista, poeta, desenhista, belo como Antínoo, ético, riquíssimo, cultíssimo, cativadoramente melancólico...
Ckw538
Dumas is one of my favorite authors. And this novel is one of his bests. Too bad it is unfinished. The biggest problem is a hack of a Dumas expert tried to finish it. Other than that its a great story taking you from revolutionary France to the jungles of India. A great novel, and there is not much more to add to that.
K.M. Weiland
The historical half, about Napoleon, was fascinating, but the fictional hero's sad perfection suffered drastically in contrast with the dynamic and decidedly flawed Napoleon.
Giorgi
it should be more interesting or i should read it more interestingly
Even
Origianlly a lost manuscript, it wouldn't have hurt anything of it had stayed that way. Set in Napoleanic times, it kind of follows the adventures of a young noble whose familial obligations lead him afoul of Napolean. I say kind of because the story meanders through often pedantic tangents that rarely inform or flesh out the story. What is worse is that the young Count is so perfectly good at just about everything that there is almos no drama when Dumas actually gets back on track telling the s...more
Jamie
This Dumas book was originally printed in parts as a newspaper series, but was "lost to history" until 1990. I believe this book was the last of Dumas' and, similar to Mozart's last piece, it remains unfinished. Knowing this fact, I think, helps with the abrupt ending. Otherwise, I think the reader would be left feeling a greater dissatisfaction than if he knew what to expect. I loved reading this book. Yes, it is long and full of history (which I love), but it is true to and typical of Dumas' w...more
Steve Goble
The last work of a Dumas, published originally in serial form and assembled as a novel. It commits all the usual Dumas sins, being somewhat long-winded and often meandering far from the main plot. Dumas here never merely describes a historical figure or an event. When a character goes to hear a work by Haydn, for instance, you get a complete mini-history and analysis of Haydn. If a character wanders into a village, you get a far more complete history of that village than you really need. The pro...more
Jose Vera
Este libro es un poco más complicado de comentar....

Me explico; no sólo es una obra recien encontrada de Dumas (que fue publicada a modo de folletín), es también una obra inconclusa y,editorial Funambulista ha publicado sólo la primera parte de esta.

Es por esto que el libro queda cojo; pero trataré de comentar lo que he leido.

La historia se desarrolla en Francia durante el consulado de Napoleón, luego de la abolición. En el país (y fuera de él) existen todavía grupos de poder que quieren que vue...more
Liviu
After the superb Le Chevalier de Saint Hermine - translated as Last Cavalier - which had a story how it got in print almost as convoluted as its plot, and then became an unexpected bestseller, there was a problem. Dumas has been dead for a long time and the first book ended in the middle, with some chapters from the planned continuation and an outline.

Luckily Claude Schopp who found the original book in archives, and worked on it many years to make it get in print, is a very good novelist on...more
Stefanie
Whew! This very long yet unfinished book gets four stars because it's Dumas in adventure mode, which is always fun. The first half of the book focuses on Napoleon; the second, on the title character, Count Hector Sainte-Hermine. Saint-Hermine is ineffective and unengaging when we first see him. Because of his family's vow to uphold the right of the Bourbons to rule, Sainte-Hermine ends up on Napoleon's bad side and is imprisoned for three years. While in prison, he learns everything there is to...more
Matt
Those who know me know that I am a big fan of Dumas. The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers are two of my all-time favorite novels (Musketeers, incidentally, seems to be rising in my estimation vis-à-vis CMC, perhaps because of the former's incredible wit). So needless to say, I was expecting a lot out this book. It didn't fully meet those high expectations, but I would still recommend it. The fact that this unfinished 800-page novel was recently discovered after being lost for over...more
Margaret
This is Dumas' last novel -- well, most of it. Dumas scholar Claude Schopp discovered references to it and then tracked the installments down in the Bibliothèque Nationale; then he found some manuscript pages, never published, opening a new episode of the serial.

I loved the beginning, because I am a fool for Napoleonic fiction, and Dumas' portraits of Napoleon and Josephine are wonderful. But then, the last half of the book is all over the place, and I really had to talk myself into finishing it...more
Cynthia
So far, this is one of the good ones, much better than the book that came before it in this series, Les Blancs et les Bleus. I'm particularly interested in Napoleon, so that's an added incentive to stick with it.
*******
well, just finished it (finally) and really thought this book would never end. It's interesting but it's very repetitive; the heroes keep having the same battles and adventures over and over again. It feels like Dumas just loved this character so much (once he finally introduces...more
Charlène
http://leden-des-reves.blogspot.fr/20...

Voilà, je crois que c’est tout ce que j’aurai à dire sur ce dernier ouvrage de Dumas. Je n’ai pas encore tout lu de lui, mais j’ai lu The Last One, comme on dit en bon français. Une histoire qui m’a prise malgré tout, une intrigue encore une fois imbriquée de part et d’autres et dont on ne comprend pas tout de suite les rouages, la plume si fantastique de Dumas, une fin… ah non, pas de fin…
Bref, du Dumas, quoi ! Avis à ceux que ça pourrait intéresser, donc...more
Lissa
Saying that I have read this book is a stretch. Have you seen it? It's a monster of a book. I think it might be able to take "War and Peace" in a cage fight to the death. I wasn't able to finish it, so "read" is sort of a lie. I tried very hard to read it. My dad and I were supposed to read it together, and I just couldn't maintain the interest. Dad got further along and confirmed what I was feeling: the main character (Count Sainte-Hermine) is a flawless prick (Dad's words) and it is difficult...more
Robert
This was rollicking fun although frustrating. The novel is Dumas' last and it's unfinished. So there is no satisfying payoff at the end of 700 plus pages. Still it's thoroughly enjoyable. It made me want to read more of those classic adventure stories.
Now some of the complaints: Of course the "manly man having manly adventures" is out-dated. Women are essentially swooning eye-candy which I have to admit gets really tiresome after a while. The hero is almost perfect so perfect he began to get on...more
Lucy Lyon
This is probably not the book I would introduce to someone just starting to read Dumas. It took 85 pages to introduce the protagonist, who was impossibly perfect. I found him hard to believe and the plot started to drag on because of my skepticism and I had to put the book down at page 460. If you are looking for a strong female lead, this is not your book. I found the life of Napoleon far more interesting and wish that the book had stuck more with the emperor.
Peter
It's unfinished, which is shame, and exasperating as I'm sure my copy doesn't mention that anywhere on the front or back covers. It's typical Dumas, though slightly too similar to the Count of Monte Cristo. Part II remains unfinished and part III is only 3 short chapters long, which after 600000 words is disappointing. Regardless though it still has the flair one expects from Dumas, in spite of the lack of any truly empathetic character-Dantes was fully formed, Rene seems only to be capable of h...more
Tammy Crompton
731 pages of awesome readying, esepecially if you love Alexandre Dumas' writings. Took a few weekends after Christmas to finish but enjoyed every chapter.
Miss
I didn't realize that it's really just the third installment in what is essentially Dumas' history of France. Don't go into this expecting your usual historical fiction. Think of it more as a history book that reads like a beach novel. The translation is smooth and sometimes funny but there isn't enough drama to keep me in it for 700 pages. There isn't enough Josephine and really isn't she what keeps Bonaparte from being just another dreary old Caesar wannabe? But what do I know? Have you seen t...more
DavidO
I couldn't finish this. I'm sure it's fascinating to someone who's a scholar of French history, but I am not. I made it about 275 pages and there still wasn't anything I could call a story, just a lot of incidents about Napoleon.
Thatcher
I liked the adventures of Count Sainte-Hermine. The plot was kind of like "The Three Musketeers" meets "Heart of Darkness" (by Joseph Conrad).

I only gave this book three stars because I didn't like the ending, it was too abrupt. Although I don't blame the author, I'm sure all the loose ends would have been tied together better had he been able to finish the book.
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4785
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
More about Alexandre Dumas...
The Count of Monte Cristo The Three Musketeers The Man in the Iron Mask (The D'Artagnan Romances, #3) Twenty Years After (The D'Artagnan Romances, #2) Robin Hood

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