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Queen Margot, or Marguerite de Valois

(The Last Valois #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  11,688 ratings  ·  381 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 1845)
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Natalya What do you mean by that "clean book"? Free yourself to read my review about this book. It's a history novel about one of the famous queens of France,…moreWhat do you mean by that "clean book"? Free yourself to read my review about this book. It's a history novel about one of the famous queens of France, Marguerite de Valois.(less)

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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,688 ratings  ·  381 reviews


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Manny
Dec 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french

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.
...more
Madeline
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Simona B
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Vedremo se della regina Margot sarà tanto facile fare una monaca."

"We shall see if they can make Queen Margot into a nun so easily."


Betrayals. Broken hearts. Conspiracies. A marriage sealed by ambition instead of love. Queens with too big a heart and queens with no heart at all. True sentiments that require to be muffled and false ones who aim to look deeper than they are. Poison, swords and blood. Hunting parties where those who chase the game are game themselves. Ambushes in the dark. (Not so
...more
Kelly
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
Ann-Marie
This audio version of the classic unabridged novel by Alexandre Dumas and read by Simon Vance was much easier to comprehend than the written translation I attempted years ago. As this is not one of the French master's more well known stories, and given that Dumas took liberties with history a bit in telling the tale, I needed all the help I could get.
I'm glad I did, though. Now I can fake my way around a classical literature discussion by bringing up a novel no one else has read.
...more
gio
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy read with Cari! :3

3.5

First: I love Dumas. It's not just one book, even though it's clear to me that The Count of Montecristo is my favourite, but the author. And it rarely happens with classics to me, because I usually read one author's most famous work and then stop. Even if I loved it. I don't know why to be honest, it just happens: Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby, Oscar Wilde and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I loved those books, but I haven't picked up anything else by these authors and
...more
Anna
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, french-lit
I watched the 1994 film version of 'La Reine Margot' years before I discovered it was based on a book by Dumas. The film is incredibly gothic, melodramatic, and gory, so I loved it. Naturally I had to read the novel too. As it turns out, the book is even more overwrought and violent, with the addition of wit. I found it a wonderful romp, absolutely full of non-stop intrigue. The pace is fantastic, as befits a novel originally published as a popular serial that had to keep readers hooked from ins ...more
Misfit
Apr 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Renee M
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.

Reread 2017- Still an amazing story. I can't believe that in the age of George RR Martin, this novel hasn't awakened more interest. There's just so much blood and intrigue!
...more
Alex
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thinking as an adolescent, this book deserves 5 stars. Thinking like I do right now, this book gets from me only 2 stars. Nice romantic story but endless dialogues and somewhere between pages 190 and 195 I decided I cannot continue reading it. At first I was captivated by the story, but as I said, the tiresome dialogues were too much.
Cher
1.5 stars - I didn't like it.

Being a huge fan of Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, made this one all the more disappointing as it suffers horribly in comparison. It’s hard to imagine that he wrote them only one year apart as the writing style is drastically different. I found this one to be a slog with forgettable characters that never fully grasped the reader’s attention. My trusted reviewer friends make this one sound so promising but at 300 pages in, I’m crying “Uncle”.

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...more
George
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
An easy to read, plot driven, historical fiction story with killings, poisonings and a number of sword fights, set in France in 1572, during the reign of Charles IX. Whilst the novel is titled La Reine Margot, the story is mainly about the ruthlessness of Catherine de Medici, Margot’s mother. It is the time of the religious wars, the French protestants (the Huguenots), versus the French catholics. Catherine de Medici is a strong devout catholic who goes all out to ensure the French have a cathol ...more
James
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, history
The first few pages filled me with literary foreboding. Lots of confusing names declaimed at length. The book promised dull worthiness from turgid word to florid phrase. On page 22 of my edition the King of Navarre and his new wife the sister of the king France agree that while they will always have different lovers they will always be allies. From then on I was treated to riotous carnival of oh no she did not just do that with a lot of he did the dastardly scoundrel, I never. It is beyond stupi ...more
Jill Mackin
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic
A hidden gem of Dumas.
Daniella
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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!
...more
Meg
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, history
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
Roman Clodia
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably my favourite Dumas novel but there's something about this translation that doesn't feel quite right. I suspect it's Dumas rather than the translator: there's an elusive tone and register to his prose which just doesn't translate into English in any seamless fashion.

That apart, this is a brilliant story: set in 1572, it concerns itself with the French wars of religion, especially the St Bartholomew's Eve massacre when Catholics slaughted Huguenots (Protestants) on the streets of
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
I read this one hoping to find another series as engaging as the d'Artagnon romances but even if I enjoyed this story, its characters did not engage my imagination as much d'Artagnon, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis (or Dantès from Monte Cristo). This story is the beginning of a cycle based on the life of Henry IV. Margot who starts out as a haughty bitch eventually mellows out and gets a bit more real - that is essentially the plot. It is interesting and in that Dumas cliff-hanger way exciting but m ...more
Anna
Oct 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Everything I need to know about French history, I learned from Dumas :)
Jennifer
This is an example of why some books are considered classics. It could have been written at any time, there is nothing to date it or make it seem plodding and musty. Wraps you up in the story.
Mati
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, 2020
Typical Dumas thing. Catching plot. Well developed characters. Action and the intrigues in historical setting.
Leslie
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review pending
Tori
Jan 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: classics, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bogdi
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Vera
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Natalie Rose
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
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. ...more
Elizabeth
update, 11 June 2017: just saw the movie! I'll keep my review of it under a spoiler cut, to keep this review more focussed on the book.

(view spoiler)
...more
Elena
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elena by: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
This book has been on my TBR for a while. I was excited to get to it because I love historical fictions and classics, and this is a mix of both. Overall I really enjoyed it.

Dumas is a masterful storyteller. His writing style was fantastic, the story was gripping and engaging, full of political intrigue and machinations, even though I liked some parts more than others. I was much more interested in the battle of wits between Catherine de Medici and Henry of Navarre, while I wasn’t overly interest
...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
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Other books in the series

The Last Valois (4 books)
  • Chicot the Jester (The Last Valois, #2)
  • The Forty-Five Guardsmen (The Last Valois, #3)
  • La Reine Margot / La Dame de Monsoreau / Les Quarante-Cinq

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