Celebrated Crimes

21 books in series
3 out of 5 stars 16 ratings

The Borgias Publisher's Summary

To paraphrase the note from the translator, The Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas père was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language - has minced no words - to describe violent scenes of violent times. In this, the first of the series, Dumas tells the luridly sexy, amazingly violent, and strikingly amoral story of the three most famous members of the Borgia family - Pope Alexander VI, Lucrezia, and above all Cesare. Never one to allow a mere fact to stand in the way of a good story, Dumas puts all the most sensational accusations made against the Borgias - mostly by their enemies - to the fullest use, which certainly distorts history, but makes for a great tale. Also, he often takes the novelist's approach, giving us details of scenes for which there is no historical record - we are given, for example, a wonderful description of the look on Cesare Borgia's face as he breaks out of his Spanish prison, something not even Cesare himself could have seen, and he was alone at the time. Again, as the translator notes, "The careful, mature reader, for whom the books are intended, will recognize, and allow for, this fact." We're reading Dumas here, not Tuchman or Toynbee. Dumas gives us a sweeping tale of simony, betrayal, connivance, conquest both military and sexual, and above all death - on the battlefield in war, on the streets in brutal murder, in the dark by strangulation, at the table by poison. It is a tale of events and personalities that shook Europe and created the modern myth of the Renaissance prince, so well described by Machiavelli. Enjoy! Note: The modern listener will hear that certain passages in the book are marked by unmistakable anti-Semitism. As it is both useless to deny, and worthwhile to remember, that anti-Semitism was a cultural norm in Dumas' times, those passages have been left as written.

Public Domain (P)2014 Robert Bethune
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  • Book 1

    • The Borgias

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 1
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      2.5 out of 5 stars 8
    • Performance
      3 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      3 out of 5 stars 7

    To paraphrase the note from the translator, The Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas père was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language - has minced no words - to describe violent scenes of violent times. In this, the first of the series, Dumas tells the luridly sexy, amazingly violent, and strikingly amoral story of the three most famous members of the Borgia family - Pope Alexander VI, Lucrezia, and above all Cesare.

    • 1 out of 5 stars
    • I can't endure any more

    • By Theodore on 11-16-14

    Regular price: $20.97

  • Book 2

    • The Cenci

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 2
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 1 hr and 23 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 3
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      4 out of 5 stars 2
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      4 out of 5 stars 2

    To paraphrase the note from the translator, The Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas père was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language - has minced no words - to describe violent scenes of violent times. In particular, the torture of Beatrice Cenci at the hands of the authorities of Rome is given in brutal and clinical detail, sparing nothing.In this, the second of the series, Dumas tells the frankly horrifying story of the tragic sons and daughers of Francesco Cenci.

    Regular price: $13.96

  • Book 3

    • The Massacres of the South

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 3
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 1
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      3 out of 5 stars 1
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    To paraphrase the note from the translator, The Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas père was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language - has minced no words - to describe violent scenes of violent times. In this, the third of the series, Dumas tells the story of three centuries of sectarian violence and civil war between the Protestants and the Catholics of the south of France.

    Regular price: $20.97

  • Book 4

    • Mary Stuart

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 4
    • By: Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
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    In this, the fourth of the series, Dumas tells the story of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots - a story both strikingly touching and almost morbidly violent. Never one to allow a mere fact to stand in the way of a good story, though very sympathetic to Mary, Dumas puts all the most sensational accusations made against her - mostly by her enemies - to circumspect yet full use, which certainly distorts history, but makes for a great tale.

    Regular price: $19.56

  • Book 5

    • Karl-Ludwig Sand

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 5
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 2 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
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    To paraphrase the note from the translator, The Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas père was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language - has minced no words - to describe violent scenes of violent times. In this, the fifth of the series, Dumas tells the story of Karl-Ludwig Sand, a man little known to the English-speaking world, but famous among German speakers; he was the man who assassinated August von Kotzebue, a vigorous advocate of Russia's interests and the interests of the Austrian Empire. In the years immediately following the fall of Napoleon, many people in Germany, particularly young people, were eagerly anticipating the coming of liberal government. Much to their dismay, the autocratic governments existing before the war were not only re-established, but put great energy to ensuring that a liberal revolution would never happen. Karl-Ludwig Sand, a young German student, became convinced that Kotzebue was the key figure in this wave of repression. He made up his mind to kill the man, and kill him he did.

    Regular price: $16.06

  • Book 6

    • Urbain Grandier

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 6
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 3 hrs and 49 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 1
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      4 out of 5 stars 1
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      5 out of 5 stars 1

    In this, the sixth of the series, Dumas tells the story of Urbain Grandier, a Catholic priest, little known to the English-speaking world, but famous among French speakers; he was the target of a religous and political conspiracy that began among his personal and political enemies in the town of Loudon and ended at the highest levels of political and religious power in the kingdom of France, with the direct involvement of Cardinal Richelieu and possibly of the king himself.

    Regular price: $17.47

  • Book 7

    • Nisida

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 7
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 1 hr and 49 mins
    • Unabridged
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    The story of Nisida is worthy of an Italian opera in the great romantic tradition, and indeed Donizetti attempted it, but without success. It is the story of an attempt by a womanizing nobleman to seduce and ruin the daughter of a poor but admirable fisherman, an attempt that ends in his death at the hands of her brother, who is then sentenced to die and is executed, but not by the hands of the law. The story is told in lush and melodramatic style, tending in places to comedy.

    Regular price: $16.06

  • Book 8

    • Antonin Derues

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 8
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 4 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
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    To paraphrase the note from the translator, The Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas pere was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language - has minced no words - to describe violent scenes of violent times. In this, the eighth of the series, Dumas explores the depths of a soul, that of Antonin Derues, a man capable of the most amazing hypocrisy, perfidy, and cruelty.

    Regular price: $17.47

  • Book 9

    • La Constantin

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 9
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 2 hrs and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
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    To paraphrase the note from the translator, the Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas père was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language - has minced no words - to describe violent scenes of violent times.In this, the ninth of the series, Dumas uses the lives of two women, Angelique-Louise de Guerchi and Josephine-Charlotte Boullenois, and the men who, to put it bluntly, control their lives.

    Regular price: $16.06

  • Book 10

    • Joan of Naples

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 10
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3 out of 5 stars 1
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      2 out of 5 stars 1
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      3 out of 5 stars 1

    In this, the 10th of the series, Dumas places us at the court of Joan of Naples, a beautiful, emotional, highly capable woman at the center of 30 years of plotting, betrayal, intrigue, war, beauty, love, and death. Hers is a world at war between both secular and ecclesiastical centers of power: the Pope at Avignon, the king in France, the emperor in Germany, and most importantly for her story, the kings of Hungary, so far away in culture and temperament, so close across the Adriatic Sea.

    Regular price: $18.17

  • Book 11

    • The Man in the Iron Mask

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 11
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 2 hrs and 2 mins
    • Unabridged
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    Ever since the time of Louis XIV, the story has been told of a man mysteriously snatched out of the world and buried for life not merely in a prison cell but also in an mask of iron: an imprisonment designed to ensure no one would ever know his name or even see his face. Dumas asks: Who was the man in the iron mask? Why was he imprisoned? Why were such strange precautions taken, and why was he treated with such respect and care, given everything he asked for--except his freedom and his name?

    Regular price: $16.76

  • Book 12

    • Martin Guerre

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 12
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 1 hr and 57 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
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    In this, the twelfth of the series, Dumas, the novelist-historian, is back in full force. His subject is a well-documented historical fact: that a man named Arnaud du Thil was able to pass for two years as Martin Guerre, deceiving villages, neighbors, friends, family, and even the wife of Martin Guerre with equal success, even to the point of becoming the father of two children by Martin Guerre's wife.

    Regular price: $16.76

  • Book 13

    • Ali Pasha

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 13
    • By: Alexandre Dumas Père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
    • Unabridged
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    In this, the 13th of the series, Dumas, the novelist-historian, finds ample scope for his favorite approach. His subject is a well-documented historical figure: Ali Tepelini, most often known as Ali Pasha and known even in his own day as The Lion of Tepelen. Dumas presents us with an extraordinary character, a man of tremendous courage, unstoppable tenacity, matchless duplicity, extreme debauchery, disgusting cruelty, and amazing ingenuity.

    Regular price: $17.47

  • Book 14

    • The Countess of Saint-Geran

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 14
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 1 hr and 58 mins
    • Unabridged
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    The Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas père was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language - has minced no words - to describe violent scenes of violent times. In this, the 14th of the series, Dumas, the novelist-historian, brings his storytelling skills to a famous subject: the background of one of the most famous of French lawsuits, centering around the secret abduction of Bernard de la Guiche, later count of Saint-Geran, from his mother, Suzanne de Longaunay, by the marquis de Saint-Maixant.

    Regular price: $16.76

  • Book 15

    • Murat

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 15
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
    • Unabridged
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    In this, the 15th of the series, Dumas, the novelist-historian, brings his storytelling skills to a subject famous at the time but less so now: Joachim Murat, the brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonapart, who established him as King Joachim the First of Naples. Joachim is nothing if not an attractive, indeed romantic hero.

    Regular price: $16.06

  • Book 16

    • Marquise de Brinvilliers

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 16
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
    • Unabridged
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    The marquise was tried, convicted, and executed for poisoning her father and two of her brothers. It appears that she learned the art of the poisoner from her lover, Godin de Sainte-Croix. She also targeted but did not kill her sister, a Carmelite nun. Her case launched what is known in French history as the Affair of the Poisons, a long-running judicial scandal that led to the execution or imprisonment of dozens of people, many of the highest rank in French society, including prominent members of the court of Louis XIV.

    Regular price: $16.76

  • Book 17

    • Vaninka

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 17
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 2 hrs and 24 mins
    • Unabridged
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    In this, the 17th of the series, Dumas, in this case more a novelist than a historian, turns his attention to a story from Russia: that of Vaninka. Her father was a Russian count and a general in the Russian Imperial army under Paul I. She falls in love with one of her father's officers, whose tragic but accidental death leads her to a savage crime. Ironically, bringing her to justice requires a great perversion of justice itself.

    Regular price: $11.17

  • Book 18

    • The Marquise de Ganges

    • Celebrated Crimes, Book 18
    • By: Alexandre Dumas père
    • Narrated by: Robert Bethune
    • Length: 2 hrs and 20 mins
    • Unabridged
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    In this, the 18th of the series, Dumas explores the history of a famous French aristocratic family: that of Marie de Rossan, also known as Diane de Joannis de Roussan and as Anne-Elisabeth De Rossan, but in any case the Marquise de Ganges and La Belle Belle Provençale - often described as the most beautiful woman of her time. It was, indeed, her beauty that undid her.

    Regular price: $16.06

  • Book 5-7

    • Celebrated Crimes - Volume Four

    • By: Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated by: John Burlinson
    • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
    • Unabridged
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    In Volume Four, Dumas relates the 1819 murder of German dramatist August von Kotzebue by Karl Ludwig Sand, the campaign to destroy Father Urbain Grandier in 1634, who was successfully convicted of witchcraft and put to a brutal death, and the consequences of the amorous relationship between the prince of Brancaleone and Nisida. 

    Regular price: $19.99

  • Book 13-15

    • Celebrated Crimes - Volume 7

    • By: Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated by: Byron Taylor
    • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
    • Unabridged
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    Volume Seven of Alexander' Dumas' catalogue of crime features three colourful historical figures. Albanian tyrant Ali Pacha (or Pasha) was a brigand who later became an operative of the Ottoman empire. After extending his territory to include large areas of Greece and Macedonia, and aspiring to become an independent leader, he attracted the enmity of the Sultan and was declared a rebel. He died in battle at the age of 80. 

    Regular price: $18.56

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