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The Works of G. P. R. James

G. P. R. James

Book Overview: 

G.P.R. James was a historian and novelist, who took well-documented historical events and characters and wove stories around minor or imaginary actors in the events. In this work, set in seventeenth century France, we follow the adventures of young Louis, heir to the Count of Bigorre, after an encounter with the vindictive Marquis de Saint Brie forces him into exile. The tale wends its way inexorably towards the Battle of Marfee in the 30 years War and the death of the Count of Soissons in a failed coup against the much hated minister, Cardinal de Richelieu. Young love, a brush with the law, card sharks, a deadly avalanche-- life is definitely interesting for the young adventurer.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .For a moment she paused before them, with her foot advanced, as if about to make another step forward, and her eye straining upon the motionless pile before her, as if it were some very horrible object; then, suddenly taking the edge of the cloth, she threw it back at once, discovering the dead body of a priest weltering in its gore. He seemed to have been a man of about thirty, both by his form and face, which was full, and unmarked by any lines of age. It was turned towards me, and had been slightly convulsed by the pang of death; but still, even in the cold, meaningless features, I thought I could perceive that look of an habitually dissolute mind, which stamps itself in ineffaceable characters; and there was a dark determined scowl still upon the brow of death, which, to my fancy, spoke of the remorseless violation of the most sacred duties. The limbs were contracted, and one of the hands clenched, as if there had been a momentary struggle before he was mastered to hi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Set in the early part of the seventeenth century, this is a standard Augustan novel of a wandering well-born Frenchman who tumbles into one misfortune after another, and whose adventures bring the young man into contact with the great and low.

Before he is twenty-five, he includes disposal of a dead