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Monsieur Beaucaire

Booth Tarkington

Book Overview: 

A madcap Frenchman posing as an ambassador's barber blackmails a dishonest duke to introduce him as a nobleman to a wealthy belle of Bath. Since the duke himself hopes to mend his fortunes by wedding this very woman, he attempts to murder Beaucaire, and failing that to discredit him. To test the lady's mettle, Beaucaire allows his deception to be exposed--up to a point--and there we must draw the curtain to preserve the surprise ending.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .as nothing for you to ruin, to-morrow you have got a noble of France—your own protege—to besiege and sack. And you are to lose, because you think such ruin easy, and because you understand nothing—far less—of divinity. How could you know? You have not the fiber; the heart of a lady is a blank to you; you know nothing of the vibration. There are some words that were made only to tell of Lady Mary, for her alone—bellissima, divine, glorieuse! Ah, how I have watch' her! It is sad to me when I see her surround' by your yo'ng captains, your nobles, your rattles, your beaux—ha, ha!—and I mus' hol' far aloof. It is sad for me—but oh, jus' to watch her and to wonder! Strange it is, but I have almos' cry out with rapture at a look I have see' her give another man, so beautiful it was, so tender, so dazzling of the eyes and so mirthful of the lips. Ah, divine coquetry! A look for another, ah-i-me! for many others; and even to you, one . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Monsieur Beaucaire was an old reading copy with nice gilt decoration, a book that’s been sitting in my internet bookstore stock for too long. I gathered some books to sell as a lot, wanting to open up shelf space, and started reading it. I hadn’t read Tarkington since Penrod. This was a short book a

I went in to this book blind, only knowing that Booth Tarkington (The Magnificent Ambersons) was the author. I do like Tarkington's prose and the narrative was pleasant enough, but there is far too much exposition for a story this short. Also, the sheer amount of dialogue makes me think Monsieur Bea

”Life Requires Patience, Sentiment and Honor”

Published at the dawn of a new century Tarkington’s second novel
is not representative of his subsequent works, in that it is not based on personal experience nor set in his beloved Midwest. A light-hearted
“costume” romance the plot centers on a barber f

Some classics do not age well. And as a result, our gaze upon them becomes the question - is the book really a classic if it does not usurp and suspend time? Undeniably, it does not! Monsieur Beaucaire is just that. A classic that doesn’t age well, so is it a classic at all?

My first problem with thi

A cool little book I found on my shelf and can now give away. I'd heard of Booth Tarkington so I thought I would educate myself. I liked it. Written in 1900. Pretty simple plot. Don't want to spoil it. Read it, but if you don't, not a huge loss.

It was sitting on my shelf and it was short, so I figured I could finish it. I'm a bit at a loss as to what is so bad about being a barber. A good haircut is valuable!

“Monsieur Beaucaire” is Booth Tarkington’s second novel which was originally published in 1900. It is would probably be considered a novella or novelette today due to its short length. The story is that of Monsieur Victor Beaucaire, the barber of the French Ambassador, the Marquis de Mirepoix, who u

What an odd little work this is, but surprisingly likeable. Heaven knows where Tarkington got his notions of eighteenth century manners and morals from, and his notion of English spoken with a French accent makes the hero's speech a bit of a challenge - but it was an entertaining read nonetheless.

When Booth Tarkington wrote Monsieur Beaucaire, it was quite a popular story. In fact, it was made into an early 1924 movie starring Rudolph Valentino, and later a comedy starring Bob Hope. For me, the story was short and somewhat formulated. It wasn't really long enough for the reader to become att

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