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Bardelys The Magnificent
by Rafael Sabatini
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Rafael Sabatini (1875 - 1950) was an Italian/British writer of novels of romance and adventure. At a young age, Rafael was exposed to many languages. By the time he was seventeen, he was the master of five languages. He quickly added a sixth language - English - to his linguistic collection. After a brief stint in the business world, Sabatini went to work as a writer. He wrote short stories in the 1890s, and his first novel came out in 1902. Sabatini was a prolific writer; he produced a new book approximately every year. He consciously chose to write in his adopted language, because, he said, "all the best stories are written in English." In all, he produced thirty one novels, eight short story collections, six nonfiction books, numerous uncollected short stories, and a play. He is best known for his world-wide bestsellers: The Sea Hawk (1915), Scaramouche (1921), Captain Blood (1922) and Bellarion the Fortunate (1926). Other famous works by Sabatini are The Lion's Skin (1911), The Strolling Saint (1913) and The Snare (1917).
A mad run through 17th Century France with swordfights, rebellions, disguise, identity theft, and an extremely star-crossed love affair between a leading courtier of Louis XIII (Bardelys, known as "The Magnificent") and the beautiful Roxalanne of Lav?dan. Set in the same milieu as Dumas' "Three Musketeers" stories. Bardelys of the title wagers that he can win the hand of the lovely but reluctant Roxalanne of Lav?dan; but he becomes entangled in the Orl?anist rebellion, and a case of mistaken identity that furthers his romantic mission but seems destined to make him fodder for the Hangman. Danger, excitement, swordplay, romantic interludes--all captured in the literate but driving style that made Sabatini such a favorite writer, and the foremost author of adventure novels in the 20th Century.
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