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The Massacres of the South

Alexandre Dumas

Book Overview: 

The third volume is devoted to the story of Mary Queen of Scots, another woman who suffered a violent death, and around whose name an endless controversy has waged. Dumas goes carefully into the dubious episodes of her stormy career, but does not allow these to blind his sympathy for her fate. Mary, it should be remembered, was closely allied to France by education and marriage, and the French never forgave Elizabeth the part she played in the tragedy.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .then loudly demanded the release of the prisoners, using dire threats.

The commanding officer sent to ask the abbe what he was to do; the abbe replied that he was to fire on the conspirators. This imprudent order was carried out; one of the fanatics was killed on the spot, and two wounded men mingled their groans with the songs and threats of their comrades.

The barricade was next attacked, some using axes, others darting their swords and halberts through the crevices and killing those behind; as for those who had firearms, they climbed on the shoulders of the others, and having fired at those below, saved themselves by tumbling down again. At the head of the besiegers were Laporte and Esprit Seguier, one of whom had a father to avenge and the other a son, both of whom had been done to death by the abbe. They were not the only ones of the party who were fired by the desire of vengeance; twelve or fifteen others were in the same position.

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Community Reviews

Brutal and revealing. Religion has a lot of woes to answer for. This book serves as a great historical lesson, sadly humans are too slow to learn.

Besides the X-rated descriptions of massacres that will settle in the darker regions of your mind, it is an enlightening read and recommended. Four stars

An interesting and gruesome read

Don't be fooled by the jacket art...

...because this is an account of the religious war between the Catholics and the Huguenots in the South of France starting well after the era suggested by the medieval paintings used on one cover I saw, and halfway around the world from the American Civil War whic