According to his novels millions of people studied history without even thinking about how freely the writer was juggling facts. He transformed the guisars into servants of the Duke of Alançon, as was the case in the Countess de Montsoro, changed the characters and marital status of the characters (anyone heard of the fact that in reality Count Louis de Busy was married, equal to as did Hyacinth de La Mol?) , created collecting images from several historical personalities, on the way out getting Portos and Aramisov, and this is not a complete list of how his fantasy the famous classic redrew the story. That’s just what difference does it matter that two-thirds of his books are fiction? Who, having read “Queen Margo”once, will believe some encyclopedias and poor teachers of history, saying that there are heaps of inconsistencies in the novel?
Alexandre Dumas actually started a new era in literature. From now on, this is how we present historical books – bright, exciting, full of intrigue and adventure. How much truth will there be in them? Few would choose to check. But if suddenly such a desire arises, there is a great risk of becoming disillusioned in their idols, whether they are among writers or heroes. However, this does not mean that you need to abandon your favorite genre. First, there is a grain of truth in any fiction. And even Dumas can find it with due diligence. Second, reading is not just about finding credible information, it’s about entertainment. After all, one of the most popular literary destinations has long been fantasy. Thirdly, it is always possible to find among the works of classics or contemporaries those where truth and fiction are combined in decent proportions and among the cluttering of fantasy clearly passes the canvas of truth.
Fans of Dumas who like to read about France of the times when kings were seated on the throne, and intrigues were woven on the sidelines, but wish a little more verifiable facts in the artistic literature, can try to get acquainted with the work of Olga Baskova, or rather with her novel “The Genuine History of Antoinette Necklace”. The situation that occurred during the years when the legendary Marie-Antoinette glittered on the European regal sky is quite difficult to describe without resorting to the help of imagination. It is a cluttering of secrets that have not been given to any scientist. Missing is a necklace ordered for his mistress Madame Dubarri Louis XV. Its price is such that even the Queen cannot afford such luxury. But I want to wear it on a swan neck! Then the Countess de La Motte, one of the last illegal descendants of Henry III of Valois and an illustrious adventurer in centuries, together with Count Caliostro comes up with a plan how to assign a treasure. Why not deceive the disgraced Cardinal de Rogan, dreaming of returning to the court, and instil him that for the sake of the Queen’s mercy, one must only present her with a certain necklace?
From history, anyone who is fond of facts knows that all the characters listed have been tried in a high-profile case. The necklace was never found. Marie-Antoinette was discredited. Jeanne de La Motte received public punishment, fled prison to England and there wrote an exposing memoir that served as a match at the stake of public resentment directed against regal even. All this is also in Olga Baskova’s novel. Of course, personal motives, romantic lines are woven into the plot, there is the owner of missing diamonds, and unconfirmed documented facts about Jeanne’s late life turn into truth. That is, on a solid skeleton of confirmed data, the meat of invented emotions is built up, and conjecture and assumptions are presented as something not to be challenged. The result is a very convincing mix that captivates, intrigues and forces to do along with the heroine of the novel a long way from the pauper quarters of Paris to the rich mansions of London and beyond in St Petersburg to end its days in hot Crimea.
During the reading of the book Olga Baskova itself begs a comparison with the work of Alexander Dumas. The tense atmosphere of mystery, the premonition of emergency trouble, thunderstorm discharges on the bright sky and already everything around tightened by clouds, from which the rain is about to beat, able to become a real rainstorm and sink in an ocean of ambition, emotions, passions and betrayals of anyone who doesn’t get out of the way in time. The era chosen for plot development, character characters, main lines – everything seems a little familiar. Although the situation itself is different, the emotional component of the author is traditionally stronger, not in the example of an adventure line, which is more dynamic and profitable shades the narrative precisely in the classic.
Do you need to look for something new when the reader has dozens of Dumas novels (and after all there are still Druon and a number of other similar writers who have passed the test of time)? Here you will have to decide yourself. But, if such a desire arises, the possibilities are there. After all, and in the twenty-first century, books continue to be created, including in a pseudo-historical genre, implying a mix of truth and lies in proportions from one to one to one to infinity.