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Robert Merle Books In Order

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Publication Order of Fortune de France Books

The Brethren (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
City of Wisdom and Blood (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heretic Dawn (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
League of Spies (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Week-end à Zuydcoote (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Is My Trade (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Island (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Day of the Dolphin (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Behind the Glass (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Malevil (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Virility Factor (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vittoria (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Idol (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Ahmed Ben Bella (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon

Robert Merle is a bestselling literary fiction novelist who was born in the southern city of Tebessa in Algeria.
He happened to be born in Algeria since his father was at the time stationed there working as an interpreter specializing in judicial affairs who was an expert in both written and spoken Arabic.
In 1916, his father lost his life while participating in the Dardanelles campaign and his mother took Merle back to Paris where he went to the Sorbonne and did very well.

By 1934, he was teaching English at a lycee in Bordeaux, and by 1936, he was teaching with Jean-Paul Sartre at a Neauilly lycee.

Until 1939, his life seemed to be all worked out as he was preparing a thesis on Oscar Wilde and was highly qualified in English studies.

He was set to become a university lecturer but the threat of war got him drafted and he was sent to Lille to work with the British army as an interpreter.

Merle would become one of the French soldiers not evacuated and became a prisoner of war until he was released in 1943 and moved to southern France to live on a farm.
Reliving the violence, pain, and dilemma of living as a prisoner of war, he published “Week-end At Zuydcoote,” which was the winner of the Prix Goncourt.

After the success of his debut novel, Robert Merle decided to combine writing with teaching, as he began writing all manner of pamphlets, plays, and novels.

However, he always maintained that he was a humanitarian and that he had to denounce what had happened in Zuydcoote, which he strongly believed was wrong.

Merle penned novels about concentration camps and even denounced colonialism in his 1962 published work L’Ile. At some point, he suggested that humanity and men were cruel given the drive to dominate others.
Desiring to break away from the horrors of colonialism and war, he became a member of the Communist Party in France, even though he did not become very active.

During this time, he taught at several universities such as Rouen, Rennes, Caen, and Toulouse, with a two-year stint in Algiers.

Since he was working at Nanterre in 1968 when students occupied a tower while protesting, he provided a lively picture of the student movement in his 1970 published novel “Derriere La Vitre.”

In 1977, Robert Merle decided to adopt a different kind of writing as he became a master of historical fiction.

During the 16th century, France was a highly divided country and religion became a prominent question. It was from this that he got the inspiration for the “Fortune de France” series, which had grown to thirteen volumes by 2003.
After writing for many years, Robert died in his home in the Parisian suburb of Grosrouvre of a heart attack. By the time of his death, he had published more than fifteen works that remain very popular.

He made his name as his accomplished and original author and was often compared to Alexandre Dumas of the “Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo” fame.

Robert Merle’s “The Brethren” is a work set in the wild region of Perigord during sixteenth-century France. It is a region on the outskirts of royal authority with its forested and steep valleys full of gypsies and bands of brigands.
Its communities are divided by conflicts between Protestants and Catholics with most of the former being Huguenots. To this dangerous but beautiful country arrive Jean de Sauveterre and Jean de Siorac who are veterans from the wars of the French king.
The two are fiercely loyal to the protestant religion as they are loyal to the crown. They live in Mespech chateau and have prospered but are not immune from the religious war, which threatens a civil war even as plague and famine stalk the land.
de Sauveterre and de Siorac will have to bring to bear all their intelligence and wit to protect their loved ones from the danger that is threatening to destroy everything they have built.

“The Brethren” is an exhilarating blend of romance and adventure set against a background of one of the most critical epochs in European history.

“City of Wisdom and Blood” by Robert Merle is the second work of the brilliant “Fortunes of France” series of novels.

The work is set in 1566 in Montpellier where anyone that professes their faith in the wrong company could be knifed in the back and only fools walk unarmed in the streets.

It is a proud city full of philosophers but that does not make it immune from the many challenges threatening the peace of France. The militia in the city struggles to deal with the religious hatred and lawlessness that threatens to tear apart the country.
Pierre de Siorac is now an adult who needs to travel on dangerous roads heading to the south, alongside Samson his naive brother, and Miroul a very crafty man.
Well-armed with pistols and swords at their belts, the three believe they can deal with any threat they may come across.

However, their new life away from Perigord their very safe home brings with it all manner of new delights and dangers.

Robert Merle’s novel “Heretic Dawn” is the third novel of the series, in which devious courtly intrigues build to a bloody and horrific climax.

The novel is set in 1572 and Pierre de Siorac is coming back from his studies in Montpellier, only to be ambushed by a nobleman from PZrigord full of jealousy.

The two get into a duel and ultimately Pierre needs to head to Paris and ask for the King’s pardon. The royal court and the capital city make for a new and disorienting and new environment for Siorac.
It is a world full of fierce pride and sweet words where behind elegant bows are murderous intents while coquettish smiles are to be found behind fans.

It is a world of deadly swordplay and genteel tennis matches whose social graces cover up a simmering tension that could result in an explosion that could signal the start of a bloody new era in the history of France.
Pierre is facing a very significant challenge in his existence and he will have to win a royal pardon if he is to successfully navigate through the very dangerous and deceptive milieu and leave Paris with his life and those of his friends.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Robert Merle

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