Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini

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“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad!” The wonderful opening lines of this 1921 novel set the tone for the rest of this delightful story of an adventurer and romantic who dons several roles in his colorful life. Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini is an historical novel set in the turbulent times of the French Revolution. The plot describes Andre-Louis Moreau, a young lawyer adopted by his godfather who cannot reveal his parentage. Moreau inadvertently stumbles into political events and becomes a wanted man based on the evil machinations of a sinister Marquis. He is forced to go underground and joins a group of Commedia dell' Arte traveling players, where he takes on the role of a scheming blackguard, Scaramouche. Here again, he falls foul of powerful aristocrats and escapes being kidnapped and murdered. His next adventures take place in a fencing academy where he develops his own brilliant techniques. He inherits the school on the death of the owner and comes face to face with his nemesis again. The plot takes several more interesting twists and turns before racing to its exciting conclusion. Rafael Sabatini's Italian father and an English mother were both opera singers and gifted music teachers. He was a linguistic genius, proficient in many European languages and deliberately chose to write in English because he felt that the best stories are written in that language. He began writing short stories in the 1890s and quickly graduated to novels. He produced more than 40 full length novels, several short stories, many collections of verse and also several historical novels in his long and successful career. However, Scaramouche remains one of his most well known works and though he attempted a sequel ten years later, it couldn't match the success of the first book. The novel's immortal lines were Other best-sellers include Captain Blood and The Sea-Hawk. Many of his books were adapted to film in the silent film era and though they're lost to viewers today, Sabatini's fame as a writer of racy adventure thrillers remains intact more than half a century after his death. The 1952 film version of Scaramouche remains the most famous one, with Stewart Granger playing the swashbuckling hero. It also holds the record for one of the longest sword fighting scenes ever filmed. Scaramouche is a delightful, exciting read for all ages and is certainly a great addition to your bookshelf!

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