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A Gentleman of France by Stanley Weyman, Fiction, Literary, Historical

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Forty-year-old M. de Marsac, a gentleman soldier, is in terrible straights. Money is the problem -- his finances have gone to hell, and soon enough his status will follow. He's a gentleman -- that is, he's gentry -- but being a gentleman isn't like being a beggared baron; there is no title for him to trade on. He grooms his own horse by cover of night, and when he goes bef Forty-year-old M. de Marsac, a gentleman soldier, is in terrible straights. Money is the problem -- his finances have gone to hell, and soon enough his status will follow. He's a gentleman -- that is, he's gentry -- but being a gentleman isn't like being a beggared baron; there is no title for him to trade on. He grooms his own horse by cover of night, and when he goes before the court of Henry of Navarre seeking a commission, he faces ridicule because of his frayed, wear-worn clothes. But M. de Marsac knows a thing we all could stand to learn: he knows that clothes in no way make the man -- and that a true gentleman can win the respect he deserves by boldness and by courage.


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Forty-year-old M. de Marsac, a gentleman soldier, is in terrible straights. Money is the problem -- his finances have gone to hell, and soon enough his status will follow. He's a gentleman -- that is, he's gentry -- but being a gentleman isn't like being a beggared baron; there is no title for him to trade on. He grooms his own horse by cover of night, and when he goes bef Forty-year-old M. de Marsac, a gentleman soldier, is in terrible straights. Money is the problem -- his finances have gone to hell, and soon enough his status will follow. He's a gentleman -- that is, he's gentry -- but being a gentleman isn't like being a beggared baron; there is no title for him to trade on. He grooms his own horse by cover of night, and when he goes before the court of Henry of Navarre seeking a commission, he faces ridicule because of his frayed, wear-worn clothes. But M. de Marsac knows a thing we all could stand to learn: he knows that clothes in no way make the man -- and that a true gentleman can win the respect he deserves by boldness and by courage.

30 review for A Gentleman of France by Stanley Weyman, Fiction, Literary, Historical

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Not great literature but eminently readable. A cracking good adventure which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    Find it at Project Gutenberg here - http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1939 Find it at Manybooks.net here - http://manybooks.net/titles/weymanste... 24 JAN 2016 - group read at 19th Century Literature at Yahoo. Please join us. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/1... Starting soon! 22 FEB 2015 - an enjoyable read from a new-to-me author. Find it at Project Gutenberg here - http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1939 Find it at Manybooks.net here - http://manybooks.net/titles/weymanste... 24 JAN 2016 - group read at 19th Century Literature at Yahoo. Please join us. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/1... Starting soon! 22 FEB 2015 - an enjoyable read from a new-to-me author.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Georgie-who-is-Sarah-Drew

    Oh, the stiff upper lip of the man - Gaston de Marsac is really a Victorian English Gentleman, in spite of the historical and geographical setting. I read this first when I was about 12, I think, and being fairly innocent, the restrained development of the relationship between de Marsac and Mademoiselle de la Vire seemed like the height of romance. And, tbh, even re-reading it now, it's moving. De Marsac is a down-at-heel gentleman ordered to look after a well-born young lady, amid the fluid pol Oh, the stiff upper lip of the man - Gaston de Marsac is really a Victorian English Gentleman, in spite of the historical and geographical setting. I read this first when I was about 12, I think, and being fairly innocent, the restrained development of the relationship between de Marsac and Mademoiselle de la Vire seemed like the height of romance. And, tbh, even re-reading it now, it's moving. De Marsac is a down-at-heel gentleman ordered to look after a well-born young lady, amid the fluid politics of C16th France. He's older than her, poorer, and rather shabby (and, it turns out, an excellent swordsman), but - of course - in the process of guarding her, he falls in love with her for her spirit and beauty - and in turn, the reader falls for Gaston's gentle kindness and sense of honour. She is a little more two-dimensional but the story works well for all that. The language is fairly straightforward - not too much gadzookery. Well worth looking out - it's on Gutenberg.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erika Mathews

    Interesting, great read for the time period. Filled with adventure, and not at all predictable. I found myself wondering many times what would happen next, as the present adventure was wrapping up and I didn't see how the hero would continue. I appreciated how the book was very non-stereotypical. Interesting, great read for the time period. Filled with adventure, and not at all predictable. I found myself wondering many times what would happen next, as the present adventure was wrapping up and I didn't see how the hero would continue. I appreciated how the book was very non-stereotypical.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Finn

    I hear people talking about the "dated" language, but to me that simply adds to the colour of the experience of reading it -- if it were all in modern parlance I think I wouldn't feel quite as able to immerse myself in the world of it. It's not as if it's Shakespeare or Chaucer, it's still modern English after all and not rocket science to read it, it's just the odd bit of over-zealousness at not ending sentences with prepositions really. The thing I would pick up on as most likely to cause prob I hear people talking about the "dated" language, but to me that simply adds to the colour of the experience of reading it -- if it were all in modern parlance I think I wouldn't feel quite as able to immerse myself in the world of it. It's not as if it's Shakespeare or Chaucer, it's still modern English after all and not rocket science to read it, it's just the odd bit of over-zealousness at not ending sentences with prepositions really. The thing I would pick up on as most likely to cause problems to modern readers is all the assumed knowledge of France of that period, the wars of religion, the regions, the social structure (eg what it meant to be a "gentleman") and names of the powerful families and so on. In the author's defense though, these things would've been common knowledge to most of his readers as they were included in standard education at the time. But then again the same issue is presented to readers of Dumas, whom nobody would doubt was a great author. I found it thrilling and very readable, the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was the occasional bit where I think the author tries a bit too hard to give a sense of "build up", lingering a little too long perhaps on just how happy the protagonist is and how he expects everything to be easy... for me that just made it obvious that it *wasn't* going to be, which ruined any chance of me being sad or surprised when of course, it wasn't.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robert Hepple

    A hugely enjoyable historic swashbuckler set in 16th century France. It has so much style and panache, that you accept as normal that characters exclaim ‘Zounds!’ every now and then. The plot has slightly more lucky coincidences than I would prefer, but not alarmingly so. The biggest fault seems to be the portrayal of women – the three that feature prominently are very two dimensional, and seem to lack any understanding of the consequences of events that occur around them, imperilling themselves A hugely enjoyable historic swashbuckler set in 16th century France. It has so much style and panache, that you accept as normal that characters exclaim ‘Zounds!’ every now and then. The plot has slightly more lucky coincidences than I would prefer, but not alarmingly so. The biggest fault seems to be the portrayal of women – the three that feature prominently are very two dimensional, and seem to lack any understanding of the consequences of events that occur around them, imperilling themselves as a result, and giving the impression of being a little dim.

  7. 5 out of 5

    R.L.

    Really enjoyed this story a lot. Reminded me of "Three Musketeers" in the evocation of that time and place. Really enjoyed this story a lot. Reminded me of "Three Musketeers" in the evocation of that time and place.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nuranar

    Love this book! So much action and adventure and a great romance.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1939 Opening: The death of the Prince of Conde, which occurred in the spring of 1588, by depriving me of my only patron, reduced me to such straits that the winter of that year, which saw the King of Navarre come to spend his Christmas at St. Jean d'Angely, saw also the nadir of my fortunes. I did not know at this time—I may confess it to-day without shame—wither to turn for a gold crown or a new scabbard, and neither had nor discerned any hope of employment. The http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1939 Opening: The death of the Prince of Conde, which occurred in the spring of 1588, by depriving me of my only patron, reduced me to such straits that the winter of that year, which saw the King of Navarre come to spend his Christmas at St. Jean d'Angely, saw also the nadir of my fortunes. I did not know at this time—I may confess it to-day without shame—wither to turn for a gold crown or a new scabbard, and neither had nor discerned any hope of employment. The peace lately patched up at Blois between the King of France and the League persuaded many of the Huguenots that their final ruin was at hand; but it could not fill their exhausted treasury or enable them to put fresh troops into the field. The death of the Prince had left the King of Navarre without a rival in the affections of the Huguenots; the Vicomte de Turenne, whose turbulent; ambition already began to make itself felt, and M. de Chatillon, ranking next to him. It was my ill-fortune, however, to be equally unknown to all three leaders, and as the month of December which saw me thus miserably straitened saw me reach the age of forty, which I regard, differing in that from many, as the grand climacteric of a man's life, it will be believed that I had need of all the courage which religion and a campaigner's life could supply.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Allen Martens

    Had never heard of this book or author, then discovered chapter 8, "The fight on the stairs' in another book called "Fifty Famous Fights In Fact And Fiction". I read it, and it so piqued my interest to know what happened in the rest of the book that I had to find and purchase it. I was NOT disappointed. I like history & swashbuckling so this fit! Also, Mr. Weyman threw in some surprises. I LIKE to be kept guessing at times. If you like Dumas pere's books; I pretty much guarantee that you will li Had never heard of this book or author, then discovered chapter 8, "The fight on the stairs' in another book called "Fifty Famous Fights In Fact And Fiction". I read it, and it so piqued my interest to know what happened in the rest of the book that I had to find and purchase it. I was NOT disappointed. I like history & swashbuckling so this fit! Also, Mr. Weyman threw in some surprises. I LIKE to be kept guessing at times. If you like Dumas pere's books; I pretty much guarantee that you will like this book to.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I really liked this book! Despite its being written in the POV of a French fellow in the late 16th century, it was readable and enjoyable without seeming to differ from the way he might actually have expressed himself. I do admit having to look up the term "bifurcating staircase", but those who enjoy the great classics should have no trouble with this style of writing. The main character was plucky and resourceful and not afraid to admit his mistakes. I liked his courage and the frank expression I really liked this book! Despite its being written in the POV of a French fellow in the late 16th century, it was readable and enjoyable without seeming to differ from the way he might actually have expressed himself. I do admit having to look up the term "bifurcating staircase", but those who enjoy the great classics should have no trouble with this style of writing. The main character was plucky and resourceful and not afraid to admit his mistakes. I liked his courage and the frank expressions given in the narrative.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    I started this book a while ago but I never finished it until last night when I wanted something easy but fun to transition between super books. Not quite Dumas lacking the epic sweep of the greatest author of historical fiction ever, but easy, fun and with enough intrigue and sword battles to be quite satisfying. Only a bit dated in language, it's worth giving it a try especially that it's free from Gutenberg, manybooks and other free classic e-repositories. I started this book a while ago but I never finished it until last night when I wanted something easy but fun to transition between super books. Not quite Dumas lacking the epic sweep of the greatest author of historical fiction ever, but easy, fun and with enough intrigue and sword battles to be quite satisfying. Only a bit dated in language, it's worth giving it a try especially that it's free from Gutenberg, manybooks and other free classic e-repositories.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Smith

    An enjoyable historical romance set in France at the time of Henri IV of Navarre future king of France. It is a France of turmoil in the 16th century during the time of division between Catholic and Huguenot with plot and counter plot, ambush and assassination for the brave and impoverished soldier Gaston, Sieur de Marsac. If you like Rafael Sabatini then give this author a try.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Free download available at Project Gutenberg. Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Heinlen) Davis

    I hated this book. The writing in it was atrocious and extremely difficult to read. I understand that it wasn't written by a modern author, but I have read historical documents before and didn't find them as bad as this book. The characters were dull and unlikeable, especially the main character who I instantly hated. I do not recommend this book. I hated this book. The writing in it was atrocious and extremely difficult to read. I understand that it wasn't written by a modern author, but I have read historical documents before and didn't find them as bad as this book. The characters were dull and unlikeable, especially the main character who I instantly hated. I do not recommend this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    R

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bob

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sonal Panse

  19. 5 out of 5

    Irma Walter

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mosharraf Hossain

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tanvir Ahmed

  22. 5 out of 5

    Valery Dostovalova

  23. 5 out of 5

    আশিকুর রহমান

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roland

  25. 4 out of 5

    Montaser Hamid

  26. 4 out of 5

    Birsilah Bakar

  27. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dagny

  29. 4 out of 5

    Druh

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ramisa Anjum

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