The Golden Spaniard - Review by Stevie P

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Charles
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Postby Charles » Sat 8 Dec, 2007 13:08:37

Re the Duke's 'real' name ...

Armand, Count de Quesnoy (The Prisoner in the Mask, 1st edn page 8)

Jean Armand Duplessis, tenth Duc de Richleau (The Second Seal, 1st edn page 10).

I agree re The Golden Spaniard - my equal favourite ... I'll confess to my other favourites later !
Charles

Charles
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Postby Charles » Sat 8 Dec, 2007 16:36:30

Here's something I've just found out - if I put an eight and follow it with a closing bracket, it transforms itself into a 'smiley face'. Why not, you may well say !

Re my previous post, the correct reference in The Prisoner in the Mask is page 8 !

As I am on, here are a few other thoughts ...

First, Duncan has reminded me that The Golden Spaniard was also the title of one of DW's short stories in Mediterranean Nights. In his preface to the short story, DW describes how he never offered it for publication because as he was writing, he realised the idea was worthy of a full length novel.

The preface to the short story reveals DW considered it one of his best books, so we are in good company. Curiously, at least to me, he considered The Second Seal his best book (Drink & Ink, p252). Steve - I'll look forward to reading a review of TSS in due course !!! :D

Second, although The Golden Spaniard was one of DW's favourite books, at least until the 1960s, it was one of the least reprinted. While I am sure there will have been plenty of good reasons for this (for example, I recently found out that Hutchinson preferred reprinting the shorter stories to the longer ones), I can't help feeling it must have saddened DW.

At least we're making up for it !

Best wishes
Charles

Jim
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Postby Jim » Sun 9 Dec, 2007 05:58:25

Charles wrote:Re the Duke's 'real' name ...

Armand, Count de Quesnoy (The Prisoner in the Mask, 1st edn page 8)

Jean Armand Duplessis, tenth Duc de Richleau (The Second Seal, 1st edn page 10).



I wonder if, at the time of writing TDRO, the author had even *thought* of the Duke's name.

Stevie P
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Postby Stevie P » Sun 9 Dec, 2007 11:02:19

I managed to find this info relating to the title of the Duc de Richeleau; (Note the e after the h). Not the way the DW Duc is spelt.

The title of duc de Richelieu was created for Armand-Jean du Plessis, cardinal de Richelieu. As an ecclesiastic, he obviously could not pass the title to his children. He had two sisters, one was Françoise (d. 1615), married in 1603 to René Vignerot, seigneur de Pont-Courlay (d. 1625), of minor nobility in Poitou. Their only son was François, marquis de Pontcourlay (d. 1646), and their only daughter was Marie-Madeleine (d. 1675). The cardinal arranged for his eldest grand-nephew Armand-Jean Vignerot (1639-1715) to change his name and arms to those of Richelieu and to receive the title of duc-pair de Richelieu (which he did in 1657). The arms of Vignerot were originally d'argent à trois hures de sanglier de sable. Armand-Jean took the arms of Richelieu: d'argent à trois chevrons de gueules "sans meslange d'aulcunes autres" as the letters patent required. His son Louis-François-Armand (1696-1788), maréchal de France, received an augmentation of honor from the city of Genoa in 1748, namely placing his arms in an inescutcheon over the arms of that city (Argent a cross gules). His only son Louis-Antoine-Sophie had only one surviving son Armand-Emmanuel (1766-1822), the founder of Odessa and later Prime Minister of Louis XVIII, duc-pair in 1817. He obtained that the name and arms of Richelieu revert to his nephews Odet and Armand-Henri, sons of his half-sister Simplicie by Antoine-Pierre Chapelle de Jumilhac. So the name of Richelieu was substituted a second time. The line ended with Armand (1875-1952), grandson of Armand-Henri, last duc de Richelieu.


The thing to remember is that DW originally called the Duke, "de Reichleau" in 'The Forbidden Territory' and fairly quickly changed it to "de Richleau" in 'TDRO' as a lot of Wheatley fans will already know, so the history of the de Richeleau family above has no bearing on DW's original intentions for the charachter.

Interesting for French history buffs though!!!!!
Surprisingly enough there is no mention of a Duc de Reichleau on the major search engines (other than DW's).

Jim
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Postby Jim » Sun 9 Dec, 2007 15:17:16

That is interesting, suggesting that DW possibly intended a vague fictional link between the duke and the cardinal.

BTW, just to drag this back on topic, THE GOLDEN SPANIARD is also one of my favorite Wheatley novels, one that I really want to re-read after all this discussion.

Garry Holmes
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Postby Garry Holmes » Mon 10 Dec, 2007 22:54:54

I've said this elsewhere, but this is one of my favourite of DW's books. The first time I read it, I had to get to the end. I finally finished in the wee small hours of the morning. I don't think that I was too good at work the next day!

Hoyo de Monterrey
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Postby Hoyo de Monterrey » Sat 29 Dec, 2007 22:53:06

Charles wrote:The preface to the short story reveals DW considered it one of his best books, so we are in good company. Curiously, at least to me, he considered The Second Seal his best book (Drink & Ink, p252). Steve - I'll look forward to reading a review of TSS in due course !!! :D


The Second Seal is certainly my third-favourite DW book - after TDRO, with The Golden Spaniard second by a short head. I shall try to put a review together in the not-too-distant.
"Here's to crime"

Stevie P
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Postby Stevie P » Sun 30 Dec, 2007 12:21:07

Having just read Hoyo's message I have to confess that I haven't read TSS and so can't comment on it. It did however highlight Charles' comment regarding a review on it - which I'd overlooked. (sorry Charles). As I'm reading these books in date order (currently on 1939) and reading approx 7 DW books a year (I do read other important books s well (i.e. Harry potter!!!)) Its going to be approx 3 years until I get round to TSS (1950). :smt100

Over to you Hoyo!!!!

Charles
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Postby Charles » Mon 31 Dec, 2007 16:13:04

Hoyo - on the basis of your comments, I'll have to re-read TSS - maybe my memory doesn't do it justice. I'll look forward to your review !

Steve - Good thing then that there are only seven Harry Potter books. JK - please don't change your mind and write any more !

Happy New Year !

:o
Charles


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