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The Red Sphinx af Alexandre Dumas

The Red Sphinx (udgave 2018)

af Alexandre Dumas (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1364155,612 (3.24)9
Towards the end of his career, Dumas wrote The Red Sphinx, introducing a charming new hero, the Comte de Moret, a real historical figure from the Louis XIII period. This rip-roaring novel of historical adventure by the king of the swashbucklers, was heretofore unknown to English-language readers.
Titel:The Red Sphinx
Forfattere:Alexandre Dumas (Forfatter)
Info:Pegasus Books (2018), Edition: Illustrated, 832 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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The Red Sphinx: A Sequel to The Three Musketeers af Alexandre Dumas


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Set in the Paris of Louis XIII and the Three Musketeers this novel starts 20 days after the end of the more popular novel but the magic was gone. Dealing with the Great cardinal it was a late work, and was originally written as a serial. Consequently there are a lot of false climaxes, and a good deal of court anecdotes that do little to advance the action. Originally, titled "Le Comte de Moret", it was unfinished, and Mr. Ellesworth has stapled to the unfinished novel a novella written fifteen years earlier entitled The Dove" that gives an end to the love interests. A thick book, but only of interest to the Dumas completists among us. ( )
  DinadansFriend | May 8, 2018 |
The subtitle reads “A Sequel to The Three Musketeers”, but it’s a sequel in chronology only; Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan make no appearance. Instead the protagonists are the Comte de Moret (illegitimate son of Henri IV) and Cardinal Richelieu. Some historical background for both the novel and its topic is in order; The Three Musketeers was written in 1844, with France under the Orleansist monarchy; Louis-Phillipe I was conservative as far as European politics were concerned. The Cardinal Richelieu of The Three Musketeers schemes to overthrow Queen Anne (Anne of Austria), and the Musketeers go to her rescue, but Dumas never explains why Richelieu might want to do this. The Red Sphinx came out in 1865 (mostly; it was never finished, since the magazine publishing it as a serial folded). In 1865 Napoleon III was Emperor of France and the country was more aggressive and expansionist; Napoleon III had already fought against Russia in the Crimea and Austria-Hungary in Italy, and greatly expanded the French colonial empire. Thus in The Red Sphinx, Cardinal Richelieu is portrayed as constantly struggling to defend France against foreign enemies – notably the Habsburgs, personified by Anne of Austria, Marie de Medici (the Queen Mother), and King Louis XIII’s brother, Gaston, who are here the schemers rather than the Cardinal.

Although the Comte de Moret gets a good chunk of the novel, his character is not as well developed as Richelieu’s. Dumas plays pretty fast and loose with historical records, placing de Moret at some events without any evidence he was actually there (although, to be fair, there isn’t any evidence he wasn’t there either). He comes across as a generic 17th century swashbuckler, elegantly dressed, scrupulously polite, and romancing every lady he comes across. The ending is rather unsatisfactory, but that’s not translator Lawrence Ellsworth’s fault; Dumas never finished The Red Sphinx, leaving it about 9/10 complete. However, he had previously written a novella, The Dove, that picked up the story of the Comte de Moret sometime after the events in The Red Sphinx. Ellsworth appends this novella (with the note that historicity is quite doubtful).

A large book, 800+ pages; Dumas was getting paid by the word. Still, it reads fairly fast. Contemporary engravings of the historical characters but with the disadvantage that none is identified. A handy appendix with a list of historical people portrayed; I suggest reading this first since, as usual, Dumas has lots of characters. ( )
3 stem setnahkt | Feb 20, 2018 |
Now that Christmas is almost upon us, we can start planning reading lists for the New Year. For those who love derring-do, intrigue and swashbuckling, there’s a treat coming up in January: a fresh new translation of a little-known sequel to The Three Musketeers. Although the musketeers themselves don’t appear, there’s a handsome young hero, a beautiful heroine, battles, plots and, bestriding everything like a colossus, the Red Sphinx himself: the shrewd Cardinal Richelieu...

For the rest of the review, please visit my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2016/12/15/the-red-sphinx-alexandre-dumas/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Dec 15, 2016 |
This novel is not widely known, apparently it was only published as a newspaper serial in France until it appeared in book form in 1948 under the title “Le sphinx rouge”. There must have been books based on the serial elsewhere, since Project Gutenberg digitised an edition from 1866 published in New York. It would be interesting to know if it is a complete text, since the action jumps forward abruptly several times.
The eponymous hero is a natural son of king Henri IV who arrives in Paris and immediately gets embroiled in the court intrigues: the Queen and the Queen Mother conspire against Richelieu, the king’s brother has ambitions for the throne, while Louis XIII sulks and broods. And all the time it is the hand of Richelieu, the red sphinx of the new title, that safely steers the ship of state between dangerous rocks and shores.
There’s little adventure and romance, and much European politics instead as Richelieu goes to war in Italy against the backdrop of the Thirty Years’ War raging in the German territories.
The striking thing about this book is the nationalist fervour of Dumas, he paints Richelieu in the rosiest colours, while the Spanish, Italian and German kings and princes show all the vices known to man. He looks back on the events of 1630 with the prejudices of the 1860s and it often strikes a jarring note. When Richelieu uses mercenaries, it is clever strategy, when the others do, it’s banditry. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The books ends abruptly with all affairs (political and romantic) unresolved.
Still, there are some truly “Dumasian” moments, such as a swordfight conducted from sedan chairs. I can just imagine what Richard Lester would have done with a scene like that. ( )
  MissWatson | Aug 29, 2014 |
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Towards the end of his career, Dumas wrote The Red Sphinx, introducing a charming new hero, the Comte de Moret, a real historical figure from the Louis XIII period. This rip-roaring novel of historical adventure by the king of the swashbucklers, was heretofore unknown to English-language readers.

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