I wasn’t sure what quite to expect from Scaramouche, except swashbuckling and a famous first line. It took a while for me to get into it (usually I need at least a mention of a female character before my interest is piqued), and even then the main characters were a little hard to warm up to.

Andre-Louis is a hardened young man with the eloquence to convice other of convictions he himself does not posess. His only aim in life is to make the Marquis miserable for both killing his friend Vilmorin and wooing his  guardian’s niece Aline. She, on the other hand, is independent and snobbish at Andre Louis’ attempts to influence her.

Despite this, I feel like he would be a fascinating character to know: magnetically charismatic, extremely talented and intelligent, able to do anything to which he truly applies himself. This includes public speaking, acting, playwrighting, fencing, and politicking, all of which play a part in the larger picture. He seemed to become almost hardened by the blows life dealt him, however, though I’m glad he often chose only to injure rather than kill.

I was able to figure out the secret of his past fairly early on–after all, I’ve seen Star Wars. I did enjoy the deuling, but perhaps the acting even more so; for some reason Commedia della’ Arte reminds me of musicals. It seemed fitting that the stock character Scaramouche came to represent Andre-Louis.

The book was also a good refresher in French history by weaving in the various details, and by the end I was reading furiously. I’m not sure I want to bother with the sequel, which came a decade later, but Captain Blood is still on the list.

Published in: on January 13, 2009 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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