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

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  538 Ratings  ·  73 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, 864 pages
Published September 12th 2007 by Pegasus Books (first published 1870)
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Apr 20, 2017 Jenni marked it as dnf
UGH! Last great novel this is not. This is billed as the adventures of the Count Sainte-Hermine, yet of the first 275 pages we have probably 10 pages TOTAL that deal with the Count Sainte-Hermine's story. There is SO much back story and SO many tangents that any hope of a plot has long since crumbled. The point where he's describing a random guy's adventures in the wilderness of America in a novel set in Napoleonic France was when I threw in the towel. I'm pretty sure it picks up the plot of Sai ...more
Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it really liked it
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
Jan 01, 2010 Gerald Sinstadt rated it it was ok
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
Jul 03, 2012 DROPPING OUT rated it really liked it
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
May 06, 2012 Jaime rated it really liked it
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
Jul 05, 2011 Frances rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 01, 2011 Jeanette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
This is one of those books that when you first pick 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
Jan 15, 2009 Dorene rated it it was amazing
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
May 01, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 20, 2009 Ckw538 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 21, 2009 K.M. Weiland rated it it was ok
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.
Jun 22, 2012 Giorgi rated it liked it
it should be more interesting or i should read it more interestingly
May 18, 2015 Sebastian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Man merkt dass der Autor mit dem Buch nicht fertig wurde. Das liegt nicht nur daran dass die letzten zwei Kapitel von dem Editor geschrieben wurden (Ab der Hälfte von Kapitel 118 ist das Original-Manuskript verschollen oder wurde nie geschrieben). Man erkennt das auch daran dass zu viele Seiten auf Nichtigkeiten verwendet werden. So wird die historische Gestalt Chateaubriand auf 50 Seiten eingeführt, mitsamt historischem Hintergrund, nur um nach diesen Seiten, in denen er absolut keinen Einfluss ...more
I find it very hard to believe that a book by Alexandre Dumas, one of my favourite authors, has disappointed me, but this has. I was very looking forward reading this last book for Dumas, an epos he could not finish before he passed away and which manuscript was found not earlier than 2005 by Claude Schopp, who then put all the pieces together and published the work. But unfortunately, it could not satisfy me.

First of all it's taking ages before the main character finally shows up, and later he
Sep 26, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
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
Feb 17, 2015 Vesa rated it really liked it
This is the last novel of the Saint-Hermine trilogy. The first two are The Whites and the Blues and The Companions of Jehu. Each of these three books can be read separately.

The first hundred pages of this book is retelling of the events of the first two novels. Many chapters are basically copied and pasted from those books but with few alterations. The Whites and the Blues left couple of plot threads hanging and those threads are resolved and integrated with the portion that retells The Compani
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
Oct 13, 2015 icaro rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sellerini-blu
*** Attenzione: di seguito anticipazioni sulla trama***

Premetto che Dumas, per me non si discute e rimane l’autore di uno dei miei due libri di formazione. Non passano estati senza che riprenda la lettura di uno dei suoi romanzi per inseguire l’avventura senza pensieri. Tuttavia questo libro ha più (molto più) di una pecca.
E’ vero che la famiglia spendacciona era sempre a corto di quattrini e che 40 centesimi di franco a riga erano un allettamento irresistibile ma, 1500 pagine di un romanzo CHE
Feb 27, 2008 Cynthia rated it liked it
Shelves: dumas-et-al
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
Apr 28, 2010 Even rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 06, 2010 Stefanie rated it really liked it
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
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
Steve Goble
Jan 12, 2013 Steve Goble rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, adventure
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
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
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
Jan 27, 2012 Lissa rated it it was ok
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
M.L. Rio
Jun 25, 2012 M.L. Rio rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, books-i-own
This is Dumas in fine form. The Comte de Saint-Hermine's exploits read like a crossover fanfic of the Napoleonic Wars and an Indiana Jones movie. After an exciting, auspicious beginning, the protagonist disappears for roughly half the book (and during the interlude we're treated to Dumas's uniquely tongue-in-cheek version of Empire politics), and then reappears under an assumed identity. He becomes a pirate, goes to India, fights an improbable number of monstrous beasts (pythons and tigers and b ...more
Aug 04, 2009 Robert rated it really liked it
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
Jul 08, 2011 Peter rated it liked it
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
Jan 15, 2014 Charlène rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
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This note regards Alexandre Dumas, père, the father of Alexandre Dumas, fils (son). For the son, see Alexandre Dumas fils.

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 h
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Other Books in the Series

The Sainte-Hermine Cycle (3 books)
  • The Companions of Jehu
  • The Whites and the Blues

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