Captains Courageous # 2 : Michel Zevaco – “The Captain”

ABOVE: That newspaper doesn’t have enough pie charts.

Another tale of bravado-prone captains after Theophile Gautier’s “Captain Fracasse.” Michel Zevaco’s succinctly titled “The Captain” takes place in what I call “Musketeer times.” (A historian might be better helped by mentions of Louis XIII and the Cinq-Mars conspiracy.)  The titular heroic cap is an obvious D’Artagnan imitation down to the name (De Capestang) but Zevaco never had qualms when imitating Dumas: compare “Buridan, the Hero of the Tower of Nesle” and “The Tower of Nesle”. What’s important is that he always provides reasonably entertaining Dumasian facsimiles, and here he displays a gift for comedy: a subplot involving witty servants and a fake hair-growing pomade is as spirited as the sword fights that take first billing. The Condes, Marie Medici, Concino Concini, Leonora Galigai, Giselle d’Angouleme, and Marion de Lorne, (to whom Victor Hugo dedicated a whole play) all join on in the intrigue. Since it’s not part of any diptych or multi-volume saga, (Zevaco’s usual M.O.) this might be the ideal intro to his work.



2 thoughts on “Captains Courageous # 2 : Michel Zevaco – “The Captain”

  1. Pingback: Captains Courageous # 3 : Paul Feval – “Captain Phantom” | THE PAGEAHOLIC

  2. Pingback: Monte Cristo on a Gondola: Michel Zevaco – “The Bridge of Sighs” and “The Lovers of Venice” | THE PAGEAHOLIC

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