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Martin Guerre

Alexandre Dumas

Book Overview: 

Martin Guerre was a French peasant that, during a long absence, was famously impersonated in the 16th century. Although the real Martin Guerre is suspected of no serious crimes, his imposter, Arnaud du Tilh, engaged in fraud and adultery while pursuing false claims to the Guerre inheritance. Dumas later incorporates this celebrated crime into his novel “The Two Dianas.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . am in such pain.”

“Die, wretch!” responded the last speaker, pushing him with his foot. “Die, like the dog you are!”

But this brutality, answered as it was by an agonised groan, disgusted the other surgeon.

“After all, he is a man, and a wounded man who implores help. Leave him to me, Rene.”

Rene went out grumbling, and the one who remained proceeded to examine the wound. A terrible arquebus-shot had passed through the leg, shattering the bone: amputation was absolutely necessary.

Before proceeding to the operation, the surgeon turned to the other soldier, who had retired into the darkest corner of the room.

“And you, who may you be?” he asked.

The man replied by coming forward into the light: no other answer was needed. He resembled his companion so closely that no one could doub. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Brilliant story - and only 5 characters, which makes a nice change. A short read with a surprise ending.

Dumas-lite, not as wordy or descriptive more plot driven. Read It!

Cut the musings from the beginning and the unnecessarily melodramatic end, and you have a solid story masterfully told. Bertrande is so real. She doesn’t deserve to die, and she doesn’t in the true story.

Basis for the movie Sommersby.

This novella tells the story of a true story, Alexandre's interpretation of it, succinctly. He imagines why Martin Guerre ultimately perished for impersonating another man. I don't think the real-fake Martin Guerre had an affair OR that his wife gave him up to the authorities for acting like her hus

Great quick and easy read, rather sad twist towards the end though!