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Joan of Naples

Alexandre Dumas

Book Overview: 

The celebrated crimes committed during the life of Joan (Joanna I) of Naples span from personal misdeeds (adulteries and mariticide) to regional warfare (like the 1345 War in the Piedmont), and ultimately unraveled her father’s legacy (King Robert the Wise). Dumas projects her story through a deathly lens: beginning with the passing of King Robert the Wise, winding through the untimely demise of nobles, soldiers, and children, then ending at Joan’s own assassination.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Hungary. And in case any impediment should appear to this marriage by reason of the union said to be already arranged and signed between the King of Hungary and the King of Bohemia and his daughter, our lord the king commands that the illustrious lady Marie shall contract a marriage with the elder son of the mighty lord Don Juan, Duke of Normandy, himself the elder son of the reigning King of France.”

At this point Charles of Durazzo gave Marie a singularly meaning look, which escaped the notice of all present, their attention being absorbed by the reading of Robert’s will. The young girl herself, from the moment when she first heard her own name, had stood confused and thunderstruck, with scarlet cheeks, not daring to raise her eyes.

The vice-chancellor continued:

“Moreover, he has willed and commanded that the counties of Forcalquier and Provence shall in all perpetuity be united to his kingdom, and s. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is the first book by Dumas that I have read, and I have to assume his better-known ones are also better written. My main problem is with the characters, particularly Queen Joan, his protagonist. It seemed that he had intended to cast her as an adulteress and the murderess of her husband, and he

"Look here, friends, why these bitter recriminations—this ill— mannered raving? We have no excuses to make, and we are all equally guilty. I am the youngest of all, and not the ugliest, by your leave, ladies, but if I am condemned, at least I will die cheerfully. For I have never denied myself any p

Era notte nella sua anima, ma ad ogni istante le tenebre interiori venivano squarciate da lampi di folgore e sul cupo fondale della sua disperazione si stagliavano figure dorate che lo sorvolavano lanciandogli sorrisi sarcastici.

"Giovanna di Napoli" fa parte della raccolta "Delitti celebri", in cui

Splendida ricostruzione storica di una corte ricca di segreti, bugie, tradimenti e sotterfugi. Uno scenario accattivante, ricco di colpi di scena, di voltafaccia ed inganni.

I first heard of Joan of Naples – under her “real” name, Giovanna – through Marjorie Bowen’s historical novel, “The Sword Decides!” It captured my imagination, so – having also enjoyed two other volumes in Alexandre Dumas’s Celebrated Crimes series – I expected great things from this.

Well, a few par