Thursday, June 30, 2011

Angelique and the Ghosts

Angelique and the Ghosts

I love reading the Angelique series of books because they seem so real.
The wonderful settings and beauty of prose give these novels
a dimension which is magical. Once again, following on from
the adventures and misadventures of Angelique and Joffrey de Peyrac,
I loved reading
Angelique and the Ghosts by Sergeanne Golon, which also gave an understanding
of the goals which Joffrey de Peyrac was setting for himself.
Joffrey has given assistance
and passage on his boat to people who are agents of the government of France, also
the governor of one of the provinces, Ville d'Avray, who again makes an appearance with his
quite welcoming and also
sometimes (for Angelique) over the top personality. However, he proves as always to
be a good companion. Joffrey also assists traders with their goods.
Joffrey hopes to meet with officials in Quebec, and hopefully one day
would wish to return to France. He has explained this to Angelique. He does not
always wish to be an exile from his country of birth. Angelique was also made
to understand this. Even though they had a new life in Canada, it was important
that one day they would be able to return to France and their children would also
be able to return. It was a dream on the horizon.

From the beginning of this novel, acting on intuition, Angelique rescues Joffrey
from a trap which endangered his life. Joffrey had given Angelique a set of
very finely crafted pistols at the end of the last novel, “Angelique and the Demon,”
which came into good use so early in this new adventure of “Angelique and the

Angelique and Joffrey de Peyrac travel the St Lawrence river en route to Quebec,
stopping at various small towns and communities on the way. Angelique befriends
 Marguerite de Bourgeoys, a nun who was renowned for the work she did for
setting up schools in early Canada.

Angelique had a talent for helping people with
cures for their ailments.

For early colonial history of the New World,
these books of Angelique are well worth reading and would serve as excellent study
guides in an educational forum for early history of the time and also literature.

Angelique reminiscences about her early days in Paris, the Court of Miracles (which
was the Paris underworld and best forgotten as Angelique moved on from these
troubled times) and her acceptance at the glittering court of Louis XIV at Versailles
as Madame la Marquise, Madame du Plessis-Belliere,
after her marriage to a distant cousin, the Marquis, Philippe du Plessis-Belliere.
How far Angelique had journeyed in life since these
early days!

She has not forgotten her poet, who had such a great fondness for Angelique. She had
met him early one morning on a river barge on the River Seine, when she did not have a home.
Unfortunately, perhaps as being a poet it may have been inherent in his nature to write of
truth, which in seventeenth century France may have been upsetting certain persons in
authority and her poet paid the ultimate price for his truthfulness and bringing misdemeanours
and crimes to attention in the gutter press.
This is a fictional novel, though the story is quite
believable which is set in “Angelique- The Road to Versailles” which was one of the earlier books of Angelique's
adventures and a magnificent novel to read.

One of my all time favourites is “Angelique and the
King” as there are so many wonderful depictions of the court of Louis XIV at Versailles and
references to many of the people at the court at the time, including Louise de la Valliere, Madame de Montespan (who Angelique has an altercation with) and Madame de Maintenon who acts as a
peace-maker between the two women.
(There is a reference to an altercation between Madame de Montespan and Madame des Fontanges in one book I was looking at on google books of the history of the court of Louis XIV.
Perhaps Madame de Maintenon may have been a peace -maker in such a situation.)
The scenes
of court life, decorations, dress and etiquette described in the book seemed to ring with authenticity.

In “Angelique and the Ghosts” Angelique also recalls her good friend, the police inspector,
Desgrez, who has come to her assistance in the past. Perhaps it is difficult for Angelique
not to think of the many good people from her past as she travels on her new path in life with her

Angelique and her husband also save good friends from a depraved captain as they had been taken
prisoners on the river. Angelique also looks out for her good friend and his bear, who decides to hibernate
for the winter at an inconvenient time.

All in all, a marvellous read. Full credit to Anne and Serge Golon for another magnificent story.
The next three books in the series have not been translated into English at this time.

I look forward to reading “Angelique in Quebec” when an English translation becomes available.

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