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The Last Cavalier: Being the Adventures of Count Sainte-Hermine in the Age of Napoleon

(Sainte-Hermine #3)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  684 ratings  ·  87 reviews
The discovery of Dumas's last, incomplete novel, lost and completely unknown to historians for more than a century, was a literary bombshell. The Last Cavalier is Dumas's swan song, a rousing adventure that completes his epic retelling of French history from the Renaissance (La Reine Margot) to his present day (The Count of Monte Cristo) by filling in that one vital, drama ...more
Audio CD, 3 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1870)
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Apr 20, 2017 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome! I wanna read it again.the longer version of course. In the future. Maybe

Final, unfinished novel. Third in a trilogy revolving around Napoleon's rise to power, the schemes surrounding both his supporters and those opposing him.

I read all three novels in this trilogy. This book is my favorite as it includes history of Nelson, India/Burma and Italy.

The disappointment is Dumas' death before he finished. However, reading the Introduction *after* reading the novel, there is wonderful reconstruction of what happens to the title character and educated guesses of
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 disappo ...more
May 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it should be more interesting or i should read it more interestingly
Kim Hoag
May 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A terrible book. I completed it only because it was Dumas' last (unfinished) book and I wished to give the man and author my respect, after enjoying a number of his other books. But, man, did it need editing. It was exactly half the length of War and Peace but seemed twice as long. Forget the fact that it was entirely derivative, especially from The Count of Monte Cristo, it was just boring. It had nothing to do with Dumas' suggestion in his preface that many might not appreciate the book since ...more
Malachi Antal
the count of Monte Cristo o, the Three Musketeers, nyet . writer\ghostwriter discuss Napoleonic era so obviously missing feather in cap of Dumas . lionize Corsican ruined his father, entire family & himself, took better man to pen his enemy .

from hurried carriage ride chance encounter with Napoléon Bonaparte following Waterloo sets high adventure . spoiler alert isn't galley slave rubbish .. yet, le Comte de sainte-Hermine earns spurs in novel .

encore prison setting like the count of Monte Crist
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of this book are excellent and full of all I expect from Alexandre Dumas. Other parts are a little dry. Dumas never had a chance to go back through this manuscript and clean it up for publication, so it's word for word what was serialized upon its first publication. Dumas was paid by the word, so he did pad the text. When it came time to publish in novel format, he'd edit. That said, it's easy enough to read it and know what would have stayed and what would have gone. I'm glad I read it, a ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not Dumas’s best work, in no small part because he died part way through writing it. Parts were captivating, especially the maritime sequences, but it got bogged down with random, long-winded backstories of minor characters or places. The book cuts off abruptly, but fortunately the person who discovered the manuscript and put it to press also found a letter from Dumas to his publisher detailing the entire plot of the book. So at least we know how it was supposed to end.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-france
The first half is classic Dumas and extraordinarily entertaining, and the second half starts that way...but unfortunately (and perhaps due to the unfinished nature of the project) ends up being rather episodic and Mary Sue-ish. It's a good foil for the count of Monte Cristo (what if Dantes only used his wealth for good?), but in doing so it loses a lot of what makes Monte Cristo so *fun*
Casey Dietrich
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic story, really sucks you into the details and that world. Unfortunately it doesn't really have an end, since Dumas wrote it as a periodical for a newspaper. I think that makes the book all the more interesting.
Joel Jenkins
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only problem with this is that Dumas died before he could finish it. So fair warning: the story remains unresolved.
Cohen Leicester
Dumas’ style is still there but an engaging, consistent story and likable protagonist is not.
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
brilliant novel worth waiting 125 years for it to be rediscovered.
Christopher Febles
Too bad. First time I’ve been let down by Dumas. This should have been 400 pages shorter. Rene was interesting but there was too much exposition, too much historical detail. Tough to read.
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
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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

Other books in the series

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

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