To paraphrase the note from the translator, the Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas père was not written for children. From the bloodthirsty days of the Borgias and the Cenci in Renaissance Italy, to the endless horrors of the wars between the Catholics and the Protestants in the south of France, to the crimes of royalty and those who sought to destroy royalty in Italy, Germany, and England, to the terrifying exploits of people both insanely clever and sociopathically mad, Dumas mines the pages of history and the realms of his imagination to bring us face-to-face with crimes of every imaginable sort, but only one imaginable color - the crimson of blood.
In each of these 18 tales, we see the doings of criminals of every sort, and we enter the minds of criminals and victims alike. Some of his crimes are political, such as the death meted out to Joachim Murat, the brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte. Some are religious, such as the massacres Catholics and Protestants inflicted on each other in the name of God and Christ. Some are the doings of madmen, such as the poisonous mind and murders of Antonin Derues. All have the fascination of the amazing depths possible to human action.
Volume 1--The Borgias: Dumas dishes us the dirt on the famous Renaissance popes.
Volume 2--The Cenci: Definitely a family you probably don't want to join for a barbecue.
Volume 3--The Massacres of the South: How the French slaughtered each other for God.
Volume 4--Mary Stuart: The romantic figure of the Queen of Scots, who could not be allowed to live.
Volume 5--Karl-Ludwig Sand:
How idealism led a young man to become a political assasin.
Volume 6--Urbain Grandier: When you make them hate you, you just may pay the highest price.
Volume 7--Nisida: Do not be young, beautiful and poor in a place where only the rich have power.
Volume 8:--Antonin Derues: One of the best portraits of an utterly sociopathic killer ever written.
Volume 9--La Constantin: You may never eat or drink anything anyone gives you again.
Volume 10--Joan of Naples: Being young, beautiful, rich and powerful isn't always enough.
Volume 11--The Man in the Iron Mask: Who was he? What did he do? Just how slow can torture be?
Volume 12--Martin Guerre: Do you truly know your friend, your neighbor, your husband? Are you sure?
Volume 13--Ali Pasha: Perhaps the perfect example of Machiavelli's Prince, both in life and death.
Volume 14--The Countess of Saint-Geran: What happens when a baby is stolen--but survives?
What happens when a man who has more than enough power is not satisfied?
Volume 16--Marquise de Brinvilliers: A con man and a poisoner, all in the same person.
Volume 17--Vaninka: She's young, rich, beautiful, and she plays games with hearts once too often.
Volume 18--Marquise de Ganges: Sometimes poison can be a very attractive way to try to solve your problems.