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The Borgias

Alexandre Dumas

Book Overview: 

Dumas's 'Celebrated Crimes' was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language -- has minced no words -- to describe the violent scenes of a violent time.

In some instances facts appear distorted out of their true perspective, and in others the author makes unwarranted charges. The careful, mature reader, for whom the books are intended, will recognize, and allow for, this fact.

The first volume comprises the annals of the Borgias. The name of the noted and notorious Florentine family has become a synonym for intrigue and violence, and yet the Borgias have not been without stanch defenders in history.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .when, suddenly raising his eyes, he perceived the Camisards on a small eminence called Les Devois de Maraignargues. This was the spot they had chosen to await attack in, being eager for the approaching combat.

As soon as Cavalier saw the royals advancing, he ordered his men, according to custom, to offer up prayers to God, and when these were finished he disposed his troops for battle. His plan was to take up position with the greater part of his men on the other side of a ravine, which would thus form a kind of moat between him and the king's soldiers; he also ordered about thirty horsemen to make a great round, thus reaching unseen a little wood about two hundred yards to his left, where they could conceal themselves; and lastly, he sent to a point on the right sixty foot-soldiers chosen from his best marksmen, whom he ordered not to fire until the royal forces were engaged in the struggle with him.

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