You may recall that, last June, a newly discovered novel by Alexandre Dumas went on sale in France. Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine was found in the Bibliothèque nationale de France by Dumas expert Claude Schopp after being forgotten about for more than a hundred years. Well, it is out in English translation next March, entitled The Last Cavalier, from Pegasus Books who puff it thus:
Rousing, big, spirited, its action sweeping across oceans and continents, the last novel of Alexandre Dumas—lost for 125 years in the archives of the National Library in Paris—completes the oeuvre that Dumas imagined at the outset of his literary career. Now, dynamically, in a tale of family honor and undying vengeance, of high adventure and heroic derring-do, The Last Cavalier fills that gap.
The last cavalier is also Count Hector de Sainte-Hermine, who for three years has been languishing in prison when, in 1804, on the eve of Napoleon’s coronation as emperor of France, he learns what’s to be his due. Stripped of his title and denied the hand of the woman he loves, he is freed by Napoleon on the condition that he serve as a common foot soldier in the imperial army. So it is in profound despair that Hector embarks on a succession of daring escapades. Again and again he wins glory—against brigands, bandits, the British; boa constrictors, sharks, croco-diles. And at the battle of Trafalgar it’s his marksman’s bullet that fells the famed English admiral Lord Nelson.
Yet however far his adventures may take him—from Burma’s jungles to the wilds of Ireland—his destiny lies always in Paris, with his father’s enemy, Napoleon.