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La Reine Margot (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – April 15, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) was one of the literary lights of France during the Romantic Revolution, his complete works eventually filling over three hundred volumes. George Bernard Shaw described him as "one of the best storytellersa ]that ever lived." The Man in the Iron Mask and The Three Musketeers are available from Brilliance Audio.

David Coward is a translator from French, whose translations include works by authors such as Alexandre Dumas, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, and the Marquis de Sade.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199538441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199538447
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a lesser known Dumas novel than, say, the Count of Monte Christo. But it is just as good as the others he did: vivid personalities, attention to detail, and fabulously intricate plots. It tells the story of Margot and her marriage to the King of Navarre, an ambitious Hugenot in constant danger of assassination. With the backdrop of the religious wars, she finds love in a knight that she attempts to cloister from the dangers of court intrigue. It ends in tragedy, hope, and the promise of further adventure.
Based on available historical sources at the time and embellished with Dumas' unique sense of drama, it is a spectacular read, full of danger, sudden developments, and psychological depth. While it may not be as deep as Stendhal's best works, it is absolutely first rate as a historical novel, a genre that Dumas helped to develop. It stimulates the reader's desire to plung more deeply into French history as well.
High recommendation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite novels by Dumas. Spellbinding to the end, it follows young Margot and her power-hungry family from the St. Bartholemew's Day Massacre to King Louis' death. Dumas is at his finest, rivaling The Count of Monte Cristo with his provoking prose and poetic descriptions. The characters and plot, based loosely on real figures and events in French history, evoke a variety of emotions in the reader and the final chapters leave one breathless. If you plan on reading any book by Dumas (besides the Count), read THIS one.
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By ced on October 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
Just so you know: the Oxford World Classics edition of LA REINE MARGOT is abridged. Oxford "justifies" the abridged version by saying it's the best known, but I think if MARGOT were as popular as THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, Oxford would spend the extra money to give it to us in full. I understand things like Readers Digest condensing books for the masses, but shouldn't something as scholarly as Oxford World Classics give us the real thing? What about Dumas fans who want to read his stories they way he wrote them? Most Dumas readers aren't afraid of long books, especially if they've read MONTE CRISTO or VICOMTE DE BRAGELONNE(which is almost TWICE as long as MONTE CRISTO). Unfortunately, the unabridged version seems only available in French. But I'm a biggish Dumas fan, so I read Oxford's abridged MARGOT rather than nothing. It's great, Great, GREAT, but a shadow hung over the entire book making wonder what I was missing. What Dumas-esque character moments did I miss? What details?
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Format: Paperback
La Reine Margot is a fascinating read -- one of Dumas' more serious and complex work, with more depth and plot twists and more gray areas in character portraits than his those in his other novels. Although some of the story has been changed from historical fact (with some of Dumas' own interpretation and value-judgment), Dumas manages to weave fact, drama and fiction together very well with his characteristic details in the lifestyle and protocols of the period. The fact that his heroine (Queen Margot) and hero (the King of Navarre)both have character ambiguities only make them all the more believable as human beings. At the same time,Dumas never fails to remind us that bearing the heavy burden of being a reluctant king and queen, they need these ambiguities to survive -- and we can't help but admire their greatness. Anyone who likes Dumas' other works and historical fiction will love this book! After this, perhaps readers should see the french movie La Reine Margot starring Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil etc. (not the other way round!)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, the Kindle French-language edition seems okay at first glance: the French accents are correctly placed, which is not true of the French accents in Christie's MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD. There it's a minor annoyance because there's little French in the book; here it would be devastating, but the French seems perfect.

Dumas fans know that he wrote four great books OR SERIES: The Count of Monte Cristo, a stand-alone; The Three Musketeers series, of which Twenty Years After is actually the best, though lots of readers don't get to it; The Reine Margot series, whose great character Chicot the Jester has a book of his own which is also better than the first book in the series, La Reine Margot; and The Memoirs of a Physician series. These series are gigantic. Dumas himself said The Three Musketeers was the best, and The Count of Monte Cristo didn't quite live up to it. Most readers think they're equally good. The other two series are of similar excellence, and Dumas fans know it.

Dumas worked with collaborators who did ninety percent of the writing. This kind of writing factory is still in existence today, of course. It matters how good his collaborators were, and in these four series they were all excellent. His other 400 (!!!) volumes are not as good -- but the four top series alone add up to about fifty modern novels in length.
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Format: Paperback
I adore this book; but then, I adore most of the work of Alexandre Dumas. This is a fabulous work of historical fiction; Dumas' roots as an actual historian are displayed here. The history is not quite accurate-- romance and drama were obviously the author's priorities this time-- but is close enough to help high school students nail European history exams. Trust me on this one.
The characters are vibrant (especially Margot, which is something of a surprise because Dumas' female characters are not as often sympathetic as are his male characters); the plot is intricate; and the adventure and emotion run high. Margot is daughter, sister, and wife to kings of France, so you know that a great deal of intrigue will be present as well.
I have a small complaint about the translation. Sometimes the translator's decision to leave a word in French or translate it seems arbitrary. Additionally, sometimes a badly chosen English word interrupts the flow of the story. However, this minor annoyance should not dissuade anyone from reading a truly thrilling five-star book.
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