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130 years later, a new Dumas book

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There’s an interesting story on Yahoo about the discovery of a previously-unknown novel from the 19th-century novelist, Alexandre Dumas (he wrote such thrillers as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Man in the Iron Mask).

Claude Schopp, an expert on Dumas, tracked down a story that was serialised over nine months in the defunct journal, The Universal Monitor. Schopp called the work Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine, and it “charts the life of a dashing young nobleman, Hector de Sainte-Hermine, whose father and brothers all die guillotined or by firing squad in an heroic fight for the restoration of the monarchy and the fall of the republic.”

It is now in the best-sellers’ list in France, and the print run is expected to hit 100,000 by October. I wonder who is getting the royalties?

The 61-year-old Schopp now plans to write the sequel to the book. Dumas died before he could complete the series, but he had outlined the adventures of Hector de Sainte-Hermine to include his escapades during Napoleon’s campaigns. Schopp owns this hand-written outline, and plans to use it as a road-map for the sequel. He believes that Dumas would have wanted it this way:

“From the outset, when I saw the work was unfinished, I said to myself Dumas was telling me: ‘I had ghost writers, you will be my last ghost writer, I’ll give you the plan’,” Schopp said. Dumas wrote some of his best-known works with Auguste Maquet.

Schopp’s take on the Dumas story is due out in France in June, and it is expected to weigh in at 800-1,000 pages.

It will become apparent next year if Schopp has the ability to take the Dumas material and craft a entertaining book out of it.
Edited: PC, REF:Aaman

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About Maura McHugh

  • Okay, it’s not Harry Potter – but I’ll be waiting with bated breath for the English translation!

  • Marcia l. Neil

    Well, at least we won’t be reading our own words and phrases elicited during telephone call-demand strategies strewn throughout the volume — there were no ‘phones when the original was composed. Er, no telephone directories?