This Is Why You Don’t Run With Swords : Pierre Sales – “Sergeant Renaud”


Once popular in France, Pierre Sales wrote a large number of morality novels under the “Parisian Adventures” uber-title, of which I tried “Sergeant Renaud.” Seduced and seemingly abandoned, Marie Renaud is a Parisian seamstress prepared to enter single motherhood at a time when that might as well have made her a plague carrier. What she doesn’t know is that her impregnating suitor only failed to “do the honorable thing” because he died in in an unfortunate, grizzly, eye-popping fencing accident. (Fencing as in the sword-related sport, not as in “white-picket fences” or “the disposal of illegal merchandise”). An easy, if morally antiquated, read, but I do not think I will pursue further acquaintance with this particular author, not when there’s Eugene Sue to cover the same milieu.


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