It's Du-MAH

The mystery of who killed Admiral Nelson is to be explained in a previously unknown novel by Alexandre Dumas, author of "The Three Musketeers," discovered by a French researcher and going on sale in June, the book's publisher said.

"Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine" (The knight of Saint-Hermine) is a classic Dumas adventure story about the start of the Napoleonic empire and includes a swashbuckling account of the battle of Trafalgar, according to Jean-Pierre Sicre of Phebus press.

"The description of Trafalgar is undescribably brilliant. And in it we learn that it is the hero of the book - the chevalier himself -- who shoots Nelson," he said.


The 900-page book appeared in serial form in a French newspaper and lacked just a few chapters when Dumas died in 1870. Claude Schopp, the Dumas specialist who made the discovery, has added a short section to bring the tale to its conclusion.

"The first clue goes back to 1988," said Schopp.

"I was trying to check a detail for an article and after months of research had to look through copies of 'Le Moniteur Universel.' Imagine my surprise when among the spools of microfiche I came across an almost completed serial signed Alexandre Dumas," he said.

"For a quarter of an hour, in contact with this treasure, I had the feeling I had the world in my hands," he said.


The opening lines of the novel are classic Dumas:

"'Here we are in the Tuileries,' said first consul Bonaparte to his first secretary Bourrienne, as they entered the palace where Louis XVI made his penultimate residence between Versaille and the scaffold. 'We must make certain that we stay here.'"

The grandson of a Haitian slave, Dumas was a hugely prolific writer, producing more than 250 works including plays, novel and even a cookbook. He remains today the most widely read French writer around the world. He died in 1870 at the age of 68.
Get ready, Barnes and Noble. Here I come.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus