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Although this book is titled The first part of Dumas massive Ten Years Later, this returns to the story of our four musketeer friends, now joined by Raoul, the son of Athos Originally serialised over about 2.5 years, this volume falls into natural sections and there are times where we can almost hear the equivalent of a narrative voice over saying previously in The Three Musketeers before reminding us, at some length, of what s gone before.The first half belongs to d Artagnan and Athos as, picking up on their failure The first part of Dumas massive Ten Years Later, this returns to the story of our four musketeer friends, now joined by Raoul, the son of Athos Originally serialised over about 2.5 years, this volume falls into natural sections and there are times where we can almost hear the equivalent of a narrative voice over saying previously in The Three Musketeers before reminding us, at some length, of what s gone before.The first half belongs to d Artagnan and Athos as, picking up on their failure to save Charles I from execution, they now work to restore Charles II The politics of the French and English courts come to the fore in the middle section, especially the battle for supremacy between Louis XIV s ministers after the death of Mazarin leaves a power vacuum And the final section brings both courts together as Henriette is married to Louis brother Philippe and the younger Duke of Buckingham follows, almost, his father s footsteps in getting embroiled in amorous French intrigues It s only in the last third, too, that we re meet Aramis and Porthos and their mysterious activities on Belle Isle, a plot strand that comes to greater and significant prominence later Dumas, as ever, is brilliantly vivid and energetic as he romps through his adventures, whether the big set pieces of executions and riots, or theintimate verbal duels and confrontations that abound There s less amorous romance now that our musketeers are older in years, and Raoul s love for Louise de la Valliere is sweet rather than passionate.D Artagnan s character is perhaps the most interesting here cynical yet loyal, disillusioned yet hopeful, and the scenes between him and Raoul, and him and Athos, recall the earlier books emphasis on male friendship.This is perfect reading for anyone who loved the BBC series Versailles, set as it is at the start of Louis s adult reign The notes to this Oxford edition are excellent on the politics and personages of C17th France though do beware of some slight spoilers if you re not familiar with the story I can t believe how much I ve been enjoying my rash of Dumas novels lately I ve read the first three D Artagnan novels in quick succession and cannot recommend them highly enough This is Volume One of the last book sometimes referred to as Ten Years Later to be followed by Louise de Valliere and The Man in the Iron Mask Of course the novel wasn t originally intended to be split in this way, so the ending tails away a little as we leave the intrigues of Athos and D Artagnan to put Charles I I can t believe how much I ve been enjoying my rash of Dumas novels lately I ve read the first three D Artagnan novels in quick succession and cannot recommend them highly enough This is Volume One of the last book sometimes referred to as Ten Years Later to be followed by Louise de Valliere and The Man in the Iron Mask Of course the novel wasn t originally intended to be split in this way, so the ending tails away a little as we leave the intrigues of Athos and D Artagnan to put Charles II back on Britain s throne behind and begin the court shenanigans that will comprise volume 2, so I can understand why some will be bemused by this book, but of course unlike The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After this isn t ever supposed to be a complete work, like reading part one of War and Peace and complaining that there wasn t a proper ending The heroes are all muchworld weary now, D Artagnan is bitter, Porthos is over settled, Aramis is neck deep in intrigue and Athos is intent on setting his son out into the world properly Their enemies are small and petty now, compared to Milady and Richelieu of the first book, but that s not the fault of our heroes, and of course taking out your sword to solve a problem can now cause manyproblems than it solves Okay can t wait to start Louise de Valliere now I finished it It took me longer to complete this book than it did War and Peace I should reconsider my obsessive compulsion toward unabridged literature and my inability to accept a blemish on my record of consecutive completed reads This book just dragged on and on and on and on andAs the third installment of the d Artagnan Romances, this book serves as a transition from the notorious three musketeers and their Gascon friend to the lives of other French and English characters youth usur I finished it It took me longer to complete this book than it did War and Peace I should reconsider my obsessive compulsion toward unabridged literature and my inability to accept a blemish on my record of consecutive completed reads This book just dragged on and on and on and on andAs the third installment of the d Artagnan Romances, this book serves as a transition from the notorious three musketeers and their Gascon friend to the lives of other French and English characters youth usurping inevitable age and power subverting nobility We get a mere glimpse of Porthos and Aramis, a small portionof Athos in order to indulge his iron clad honor and still only a bitof d Artagnan who reaches the age of retirement and moves his focus from reckless gallivanting and adventure for material comforts which compromise his character Our friends simply serve to contrast the new kids on the block, to show the reader a transitioning world through politics and the integrity of a culture.I did not find the story bad I found the tedious nature of its telling nearly unbearable As a serialized story bound together in, not one, but three novels, I have to scold the publishing world for trapping a novel readers mind, habits and expectations in a story with no arc It just keeps going The novel form does not fully captivate this story Would one staple all the scripts in one TV show season together and release it as a novel It felt like sitting on a bench watching the people walk by At first, you absorb yourself in the drama between the first passing couple But then you try and care about the grimy homeless guy who followed while still thinking about the drama between the couple Then the studious girl after him just frustrates you and you want to go home.I liked the story I found its telling nearly unbearable I will wait a while before starting Louise de La Valliere which I will eventually read only because of my obsessive compulsion to finish the series and my general inability to leave a literary investment unsatisfied 3 stars I was a bit surprised to have the book end as I still had several CDs of the audiobook to go This discrepancy is annoying but understandable as both the book and the audiobook are just the first part of the book Dumas originally wrote as the final novel of the d Artagnan trilogy This last book was so enormous that it is almost always divided into 3, 4, or even 5 separate volumes I am reading the Project Gutenberg Kindle editions which are using the 4 volume division although there 3 stars I was a bit surprised to have the book end as I still had several CDs of the audiobook to go This discrepancy is annoying but understandable as both the book and the audiobook are just the first part of the book Dumas originally wrote as the final novel of the d Artagnan trilogy This last book was so enormous that it is almost always divided into 3, 4, or even 5 separate volumes I am reading the Project Gutenberg Kindle editions which are using the 4 volume division although there was a nice little note showing where the book would have ended in a 5 volume split I thought that the audiobook I was listening to was also from a 4 volume split but perhaps it was from a 3 volume split instead.I found sections of this volume very interesting such as the parts about General Monk but some of it was rather too long winded even for me Despite the title, the main character of this is our friend d Artagnan Porthos and Aramis don t appear until quite close to the end Chapter 70 or so , which was a bit disappointing Athos was present for much of the story although view spoiler he and d Artagnan were working at cross purposes for a while hide spoiler As in the previous book, Twenty Years After, the four friends are not in close contact as the book opens sadly are view spoiler once again split in their loyalties, although this time it is d Artagnan and Athos on the side of Charles II Louis XIV versus Porthos and Aramis on the side of Fouquet In Twenty Years After, d Artagnan and Porthos eventually do come together with Athos and Aramis on the side of Charles I against Mazarin I hope the 4 come together in the next book hide spoiler Great addition to Three Musketeers Series Can t wait to get on to the next, but I must Thought it was amusing that the title s namesake didn t really appear much in the book until the end And it was actually quite a cliffhanger at the end there I like the characters evenas they age They re all in their late 50 s now I like their mature selves and themature reflections they make I love this description of D Artagnan at this period of his life He had all the passions, all th Great addition to Three Musketeers Series Can t wait to get on to the next, but I must Thought it was amusing that the title s namesake didn t really appear much in the book until the end And it was actually quite a cliffhanger at the end there I like the characters evenas they age They re all in their late 50 s now I like their mature selves and themature reflections they make I love this description of D Artagnan at this period of his life He had all the passions, all the defects, all the weaknesses, and a constitutional spirit of contradiction which changed all these imperfections into corresponding qualities D Artagnan, thanks to his ever active imagination, was afraid of a shadow, and ashamed of being afraid, he marched straight up to that shadow, and then became extravagant in his bravery, if the danger proved to be real Thus everything in him was emotion, and therefore enjoyment He loved the company of others, but never became tired of his own andthan once, if he could have heard when he was alone, he might have been seen laughing at the jokes he told to himself, or the tricks his imagination created 161 As this series progresses the themes and writing becomes richer and threaded withmeaning Still, not altogether altering but worth reading and appreciatind and reveling in Some nice quotes Avarice dries up the heart, and prodigality drowns it 255 Debts terrify me Creditors appear to me, by anticipation, like those devils who turn the damned on spits, and as patience is not my dominant virtue, I am always tempted to thrash them 283 Sinners are always so forgetful beforehand, and so scrupulous when it is too late Priest to Cardinal Mazarin on his deathbed, 314 Incredulity thou are the pest of all great minds 397 To be thanked for having done one s duty is humiliating 402 Dumas often laments the passing of the real men in this novel Here are some of his thoughts the time had passed when nobles fought duels but that the feeling of hatred treasured up in the mind, instead of being diffused abroad, was still hatred all the same that a smile was sometimes as full of meaning as a threat and, in a word, that to the fathers who had hated with their hearts and fought with their arms, would now succeed sons, who would indeed hate with their hearts, but would no longer combat their enemies save by means of intrigue or treachery 578 And finally The Queen Mother to her 2nd son Never tyrranize over a wife never behave too haughtily or imperiously toward her A woman unwillingly convinced is unconvinced Good fun of course, but too much about courtly intrigue and not enough about D Artagnan and his friends. I confess to strong bias Dumas is my favorite author Even when his prose is at its purplest, it makes my heart beat a little faster Book 1 in The Vicomte de Bragelonne a single LONG work broken into three books, of which this is the first, that culminates in and ends the Musketeer Saga with The Man in the Iron Mask was excellent D Artagnan, who has always seemed flamboyantly over cocky, isgrown up now, and the power mad Cardinal Richelieu has been replaced with the power mad Mazarin I confess to strong bias Dumas is my favorite author Even when his prose is at its purplest, it makes my heart beat a little faster Book 1 in The Vicomte de Bragelonne a single LONG work broken into three books, of which this is the first, that culminates in and ends the Musketeer Saga with The Man in the Iron Mask was excellent D Artagnan, who has always seemed flamboyantly over cocky, isgrown up now, and the power mad Cardinal Richelieu has been replaced with the power mad Mazarin and a very young Louis XIV, who is just starting to become the Sun King.The history, though gently mangled by Dumas, is easier to follow here There are plenty of secret plots, much manly chest beating and defenses of honor, a touch of a love story or two, and a hint of derring do I live for this stuff.Also, I have to add that the Oxford World s Classics edition has pages of good historical and literary notes, and there s a really good list of historical personages that appear in the saga In case I haven t made myself perfectly clear, I am 10000% obsessed with this series.The Musketeers are officially my bros, and when I read about them I imagine them as friends, which means I feel their experiences that muchsignificantly I laugh out loud, I grin, I gasp, I tear up, I bite my lip and I m pretty sure if I had a mustache I would twist it This series gives me a very serious case of feelings.I feel sad when I think of how many people never make it this far into the series Gr In case I haven t made myself perfectly clear, I am 10000% obsessed with this series.The Musketeers are officially my bros, and when I read about them I imagine them as friends, which means I feel their experiences that muchsignificantly I laugh out loud, I grin, I gasp, I tear up, I bite my lip and I m pretty sure if I had a mustache I would twist it This series gives me a very serious case of feelings.I feel sad when I think of how many people never make it this far into the series Granted, we re getting pretty political now, and there s a lot about the animosity between Focquet and Colbert, and bits and pieces about the governing of France and her relations, so it can be a littletedious in spots The Musketeers are divided, and Porthos and Aramis don t even make an appearance until well over halfway through This book borrows Raoul s title, but he s not a major player, but one can clearly see he personifies a combination of our four favourite heroes so there s a strong desire forof him.But there is so much fun to be had within these 650 pages This book begins with one of d Artagnan s famous schemes, and it makes me laugh so hard It s so ridiculous, and I love it thefor that Athos is still a noble example that counteracts d Artagnan s impulsiveness, and I love that this friendship is still going strong My heart pounds harder every time some of the friends are united, and the appearance of Porthos at his time made me want to hug him myself He s not given nearly enough credit, and every time I read the series I love himAramis is still a cunning fox and I m saddened every time they lie to one another, even though they still support their friendship The younger generation that s slowly leaking into the story are actually a lot of fun, and I rather enjoy the relationship between Raoul and the Comte de Guiche You can feel the tone of the story moving into the new friendships that are being born, so there are new dynamics to play with.There s no real villain in this story Mazarin the Miser is less threatening, and Colbert is not yet important enough to be evil, though he s well on his way The King is still finding his footing, and there are others who have malicious intentions that are easily put down by one of our growing list of heroes.So to sum up, this book contains a lotpolitics, and French history There are a lot of new names to remember and this handy edition has a breakdown of characters at the back but there are still some fun musketeer adventures and daring deeds This specific edition, though, includes a lot of notes which bothered me a bit I didn t think it was necessary to add a note for everything that referred to something from a previous book We all remember what went down with Milady, yo.I hopepeople get around to reading the entire series, because you ve really gotta read how d Artagnan decides to get rid of Monk It s my favourite part of the whole book and it s hilarious Original Review 13 11 13 I love D Artagnan and his crazy adventures Some classics, you have to wade through the descriptive literature to find the threads of a story with the work of Dumas, this is rarely the case The story is so colourful that the language simply adds a greater depth and poetry that enhances, rather than hinders, the work The story itself has as much intrigue as the previous Musketeers novels, though the absence of two of the four is sorely missed for a good portion of the book There s a fair bit of travel but that s nothing unusual, and D Artagnan is as charming as ever, despite the fact he s getting on in years Bit of a weird spot to end Part I, but I will be keen to get into the next part `KINDLE ↽ Vicomte de Bragelonne ↠ The Vicomte of Bragelonne Ten Years Later Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, p re It is the third and last of the d Artagnan Romances following The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After It appeared first in serial form betweenandThe Vicomte of Bragelonne is the first volume of this work relating the events of