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Louise de La Vallière

Narrated by: Simon Vance
Series: D'Artagnan, Book 6
Length: 23 hrs and 5 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Summary

As part of the d'Artagnan Romances following The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After, and devoted in large part to romantic events at the court of France's King Louis XIV, Louise de La Valliere is the second part of Alexandre Dumas's 268 chapter novel The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later, which first appeared in serial form between 1847 and 1850. Filled with behind-the-scenes intrigue, the novel brings the aging Musketeers and d'Artagnan out of retirement to face an impending crisis within the royal court of France.
Public Domain (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

"One of the very best of the series, mixing amorous and political intrigue with an élan peculiar to Dumas...this quasi-historical series remains remarkably readable" ( The Irish Times, Dublin)

What listeners say about Louise de La Vallière

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Only the Best

I have read all that books in the series and now go on to The Man in the Iron Mask to complete the story. I have enjoyed every minute of all . Simon Vance tells the story really well and have marked his performance higher than story and overall to stress my point. Again I have had a really good read/listen, just plain the Best of Entertainment.

1 person found this helpful

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2nd best in the series.

loved it and defiantly the 2nd best in the series, some really touching moment's, dumas at his very best , funny in parts, a classic in my opinion.

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    3 out of 5 stars

The weakest of the series

A bit too much 'woe is me I'm in love' and not enough swashbuckling in this one!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 28-08-09

A Soap Opera with Musketeers

This story seems quaint and very subtle by modern standards.

Large tracts are devoted to the minutiae of French royalty and the surrounding courtiers, where sometimes there is a very long and (impeccably narrated) winding road to reach a climax where one of several gallant knights squeezes one of several ladies-in-waiting hands or some other equally scandalous body part.

I suppose this must have titillated in it's day, but it really doesn't measure up to the excitement of "The 3 Musketeers", "20 Years After" or even "The Man in the Iron Mask", which follows on from this, and is well enough written that you could probably jump from "Le Vicomte de Bragelonne" to "The Man in the Iron Mask" without losing much in the bargain.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim
  • 17-11-09

Not the best book in the series

I loved the performance by Simon Vance as with all his work. However, this installment is not up to the great level of Dumas' previous three books in the series. A romantic farce rather than a tragedy it just doesn't hold up. Can't wait to get back to his great writing with Man in the Iron Mask.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 23-03-15

absolutely loved it

This book is a very good continuation of the story. There is little of the musketeers but it sets up the finale very well.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • P. Carson
  • 26-09-09

Louis and Louise

Please give us all of the Dumas that is available in audio format -- commission new recordings, if necessary. Louise de La Velliere is another fine prequel to The Man in the Iron Mask, even if you have already read that classic. Louise, Raoul, Athos, and many other characters are understood more easily when The Vicompte de Bragilonne, Louise de La Valliere, and The Man in the Iron Mask are taken in the proper order. No wonder Aramis wants to replace Louis on the throne with his twin brother!

3 people found this helpful

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  • William
  • 23-09-20

A bridge

This is the middle third of book 3 of the D’Artagnan series of which book 1 is the most famous (The Three Musketeers). Book 3 was so long that it has been divided into three books in modern times and even each of those thirds is as long as books 1 and 2. By now, only D’Artagnan is the only one who is still a musketeer, now at the top and the closest to the king. The other three musketeers have all gone their own way. All four musketeers appear in this book, but they are not the main focus. Athos only appears once in the beginning when he asks the King for his approval for his son Raoul to marry Louise, for whom this book is named. And, she becomes the center of the rest of the book, not that she is the focus, but that she becomes the axis for the stories of all the other different personalities in the court to spin around. The musketeers have already reestablished the monarchy in England in the first third of book 3, “The Vicomte de Bragelonne” and this book is as the throne of Louis XIV has become strong. His power is now without practical limit and his rule has become decadent with everyone trying to do their best to please him. Yet, the rumors are flying and his affairs with different mistresses are not helping his reputation with the people. As the middle third of the book, this volume serves as a bridge leading to the last third, which is also one of Dumas’ most well-known books, “The Man in the Iron Mask.” As a bridge nothing is completely resolved, but the narrative is engaging and keeps you interested. If you’ve read “The Man in the Iron Mask” before having read this book, you’re missing a lot of that story also.

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  • Taylor Britton
  • 08-09-20

better love triangles than Shakespeare

guess its not surprising that a worldly black Frenchman could write better love triangles than Shakespeare

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  • david
  • 28-12-17

Meh...

The story was frustrating. Marriage must not mean much in France. The only people I still have respect for is Raul and Athos and Porthos... I hope the conclusion is better.

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  • Scott
  • 25-02-17

the narrator truly brings the story to life

the narrator really helped make this book very engaging. His use of giving unique voices to each character really helped with the flow of the story. Many people say that this book can be easily skipped. I disagree. This book is necessary to set the stage for the last installment The Man in the Iron Mask. Though some parts droned on a little bit there were also parts that were very exciting. And it was very interesting to follow the story of the lovers.

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  • seafan
  • 04-06-16

Sets the background for The Man in the Iron Mask

Where does Louise de La Vallière rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book was a necessary read for me to have a stronger background of The Man in the Iron Mask. Though I love Dumas' works and I enjoy the character of Raoul, Athos' son, this is my least favorite of the D'artagnan series, and I believe my past read of the actual book is what helped me comprehend the complex (and somewhat dry) story line and odd story twists. If you are a fan of the Musketeers and Dumas, you must "read" this book to stay knowledgeable of the more obscure background details of each Musketeer and Raoul and his friends.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Louise de La Vallière?

My favorite scene is when D'artagnan defends Raoul to Raoul's friends who have been teasing Raoul about not knowing who his mother is and thus implying he is a "castaway" child of lower birth rank. D'artagnan defends his best friend's son (Athos' son) as if Raoul was his own. I get chills when see how devoted all these men are to each other.

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. Simon Vance is an amazing reader. He pays attention to details in the dialogue and puts the story first - not his voice acting skills.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The scene previously mentioned of D'atagnan defending Raoul was my extreme reaction because this book has a lot - and I mean a lot of - background details and story twists (location changes, Musketeer-switch-ups, and loyalty changes) - that it reads sometimes more like a documentary of each Musketeers' plan of action kept secret from the other, while throwing in Raoul's friendships, Guard service, and love triangle in gaps of the big story that make for a dizzying read.

Any additional comments?

You have to read it if you are a true Musketeer fan. I liked it strongly, though I didn't love it as I do the other 4 books.

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  • DFK
  • 18-04-16

Good story, superb reader

I was going to take a break from the D'Artagnan series and return to it after listening to something else, but the previous volume really does leave you wanting to continue, and this one does, too. So I'll move on to the Man with the Iron Mask, and then get to my other books on the queue. The story is full of plotting, mostly about the king's shenanigans. It's amazing that they got anything done. The other amazing thing is that by reading a little history of Louis XIV's reign, I found that this is only a bit exaggerated, or maybe not at all. I mean, if you search on Google for "Louis XIV mistress", you get a result on Wikipedia that tells you that there are 11 pages, and an alphabetized list of his mistresses, Louise de la Valliere being his first. Those people who gave mediocre or unenthusiastic reviews of the book and said it is like a soap opera or a cheap romance set in the 17th century are correct in their description, except if you read the history, you'll see that this is an entertaining depiction that seems not so far from reality, and representing only one of Louis XIV's long string of mistresses. I think it is quite entertaining (just wish there was more of D'Artagnan himself - he's the most fun character in these books, of course), and interesting, though I wouldn't say it is a 5-star book. But the reader - Simon Vance - he is 5-star plus! I don't know how he can so smoothly switch voices and accents, and remember which one to do for which character. Clearly this is not an off-the-cuff performance, it took serious thought and preparation, and I delighted in every moment of his reading. He's a gem. It is readers like him that make it worth buying audio books (rather than getting public domain stuff, which is available for classic books like these). Superb. Thank you, Simon Vance.