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The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Book Overview: 

The hero, Etienne Gerard, is a Hussar in the French Army during the Napoleonic Wars. Gerard's most notable attribute is his vanity - he is utterly convinced that he is the bravest soldier, greatest swordsman, accomplished horseman and gallant lover in all France. Gerard is not entirely wrong since he displays notable bravery on many occasions, but his self-satisfaction undercuts this quite often. Obsessed with honor and glory, he is always ready with a stirring speech or a gallant remark to a lady.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .kers would say whatever they thought would please him best.

My first thought was that he would be angry with me for having kept him waiting, but as I approached him, we heard the big church clock of Fontainebleau clang out the hour of ten. It was evident, therefore, that it was he who was too soon, and not I too late. I remembered his order that I should make no remark, so contented myself with halting within four paces of him, clicking my spurs together, grounding my sabre, and saluting. He glanced at me, and then without a word he turned and walked slowly through the forest, I keeping always about the same distance behind him. Once or twice he seemed to me to look apprehensively to right and to left, as if he feared that someone was observing us. I looked also, but although I have the keenest sight, it was quite impossible to see anything except the ragged patches of moonshine between the great black shadows of the trees. My ears . . . Read More

Community Reviews

George MacDonald Fraser wrote the excellent introduction to this edition of the collected Brigadier Gerard stories, in which he observed what a different sort of character is Gerard from Conan Doyle’s more famous creation, who need not be named. Gerard is French, not English; an interesting choice f

Best book I've read in a very long time, I have to say. Gerard is an absolutely appealing character and his transparently misguided narration is pretty much brilliant. It's difficult to pull off a story which has the narrator living, through his own words, in a state of enlightenment significantly l

every 19th century author seems to have the biggest crush on napoleon. i don't think I've ever read something as preoccupied with the way men look riding horses, how it feels to ride a horse, how cool soldiers are with their horses. the way "a horse feels between your thighs" is described repeatedly

Does anyone out there remember the old cartoon The World of Commander McBragg? I would not be surprised if the writers got the idea from this book. Brigadier Étienne Gerard is the most dashing officer in Napoleon's army - one of the best swordsmen in France - ready to take on any mission no matter h

"Pero amigos míos, ésa es la suerte del soldado: hoy besos; mañana, golpes; vino de Tokay en un palacio; agua de charca en una cabaña; pieles y harapos; la bolsa llena de dinero y los bolsillos sin una moneda; siempre oscilando entre lo mejor y lo peor, con una sola cosa que nunca cambia: su gallard

Looking for a Napoleonic era Jason Bourne? Etienne Gerard is a dashing, chivalrous, and stalwart French officer who becomes involved various suspenseful and often comical political intrigues. He battles outlaws, Englishmen and Cossacks and always maintains a his honor and his style. His adventures c

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