The Countess of Saint-Geran: Celebrated Crimes, book 14
By: Alexandre Dumas
Narrated by: Robert Bethune
Length: 1 hour
Release date: Apr 29, 2015
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To paraphrase the note from the translator, The Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas père was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language—has minced no words—to describe violent scenes of violent times.
In this, the fourteenth of the series, Dumas, the novelist-historian, brings his story-telling skills to a famous subject: the background of one of the most famouse of French lawsuits, that centering around the secret abduction of Bernard de la Guiche, later Count of Saint-Geran, from the child-bed of his mother Suzanne de Longaunay, by the Marquis de Saint-Maixant--a notorious womanizer, schemer, and probably murderer. Dumas gives us the whole story, basing his tale on well-established historical sources, from the time when the Marquis first insinuated himself into the family to the outcome of the lawsuit contesting Bernard's identity and legitimacy as the heir of the La Guiche fortune. It is a story of remarkable perfidy, cruelt and betrayal of trust.
Of course, Dumas, the dramatist and novelist, cannot help embellishing the work of Dumas, the historian. He gives us words and actions that cannot possibly be part of the historical record from scenes that are as effectively histrionic as they are undocumented. However, all his melodrama is well based on his history, and he certainly makes a wonderful tale out of his materials.
Dumas may have collaborated on this, as he frequently did in his works, with other writers. Nevertheless, it is clearly Dumas who has the final say on this work, as with all the other works in this series.