La Reine Margot (novel)

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La Reine Margot
cover
Author Alexandre Dumas
in collaboration with Auguste Maquet
Original title La Reine Margot
Country France
Language French
Genre Historical novel
Publication date
1844- 1845 (serialised)
Followed by La Dame de Monsoreau

La Reine Margot (Eng Queen Margot) is a historical novel written in 1845 by Alexandre Dumas, père, whose previous works include The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

Although La Reine Margot is based on real characters and events, certain aspects of the novel may be inconsistent with the historical record; historians have attributed this to artistic licence and the fact that Dumas might have been influenced by propaganda against certain characters, notably Catherine. Written in French, it was almost immediately translated into English, appearing in the United States as Marguerite de Valois.

The Novel[edit]

It is set in Paris in August 1572 during the reign of Charles IX (a member of the Valois dynasty) and the French Wars of Religion. The novel's protagonist is Marguerite de Valois, better known as Margot, daughter of the deceased Henry II and the infamous scheming Catholic power player Catherine de Medici.

Although Margot herself is excluded from the throne by the Salic Law, her marriage to a Protestant prince offers a chance for domestic reconciliation during the late 16th century reign of the neurotic, hypochondriac King Charles IX, a time when Catholics are vying for political control of France with the French Protestants, the Huguenots. Catherine decides to make an overture of goodwill by offering up Margot in marriage to prominent Huguenot and King of Navarre, Henri de Bourbon, a marriage that was supposed to cement the hard-fought Peace of Saint-Germain. At the same time, Catherine schemes to bring about the notorious St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572, assassinating many of the most wealthy and prominent Huguenots who were in the largely-Catholic city of Paris to escort the Protestant prince to his wedding. The Massacre begins four days after the wedding ceremony, and thousands of Protestants are slaughtered. The marriage goes ahead but Margot, who does not love Henri, begins a passionate affair with the soldier La Môle, also a Protestant from a well-to-do family. Murders by poisoning follow, as court intrigues multiply and Queen Catherine's villainous plotting to place her son, the future Henry III on the throne threatens the lives of La Môle, Margot and Henri.

Adaptations[edit]

The plot of the novel was fully or partially included in adaptations for film and television, which also drew on the historical facts:

External links[edit]