Short summary - The Gallant Lords of Bois-Dore or The Fine Gentlemen of Bois-Dore - George Sand - Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - The Gallant Lords of Bois-Dore or The Fine Gentlemen of Bois-Dore
George Sand - Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin

Micro-narration: In the castle of a lonely marquis, a poor woman with a child asks for shelter. The child turns out to be the son of the missing brother of the Marquis, and he brings up the boy as his own son.

Volume I
young French nobleman Guillaume d'Ars invites to his provincial castle a new friend, the Spaniard d'Alvimar, who has fallen out of favor at court because of a duel. Guillaume wants to go to a party that the prince is organizing and invites a guest with him, but the Spaniard refuses: he has come to hide. Guillaume brings d'Alvimard to his friend, the Marquis Sylvain de Bois-Doré. Sylvain's father was a devout Catholic who hated the Huguenots. Sylvain himself joined the Calvinists and became a friend of Henry of Navarre. Upon learning of this, the father cursed his son, remarried, and his second son was born, whom he sent to serve in the army as a boy, where he died.
On the way to the Bois-Dore castle, travelers meet a crowd of gypsies begging for alms. d'Alvimar swings his whip at them. Among the gypsies, a boy with thin facial features stands out, not like his fellow tribesmen.
Sylvain de Bois-Doré is visiting his friend, Monsieur de Bevres, and Guillaume d'Ars, leaving d'Alvimard there, leaves. Monsieur de Beuvres lives in the castle with his only daughter, Lorianne. At the age of twelve, the girl was engaged to her cousin, who soon died. Now the father is looking for a suitable party for his daughter. For this, he is ready to convert to Catholics, but Lorianne vowed that she would marry only a Protestant.
Sylvain de Bois-Doré experienced many love affairs, but never experienced passion. Now he tries to maintain his former beauty with the help of makeup, which makes d'Alvimar laugh. Both guests are not indifferent to the lovely hostess, but d'Alvimar seems to her like Cesare Borgia and causes horror.
Monsieur de Bois-Doret brings d'Alvimar to his castle and introduces the guest to Maitre Jovlin, a musician and associate of Giordano Bruno, whose tongue was cut off by the Inquisition. The mute lives in the Bois-Dore castle, helping the owner in his affairs.
A strange woman named Mercedes asks for a night in the castle with a boy of about ten, Mario. Previously, she tended goats, but six months ago she decided to go to the king's companion. The servants are surprised how a poor woman could get an appointment with such a high-ranking person?
d'Alvimard meets a local priest, Monsieur Poulin. The priest speaks well of the owner of the castle, but believes that he gives too much alms, has sheltered a strange person, and his servants are no good. The only sensible person is his housekeeper Bellinda. Monsieur Poulin invites d'Alvimar to pay attention to Lorianne de Beuvre as a profitable game for a poor Spaniard. The fact that the girl is a Protestant is not scary - she can be converted to Catholicism, and the priest offers his help.
At the castle, d'Alvimar meets Mercedes and recognizes Mario, whom he saw among the gypsies. The boy irritates the Spaniard for no reason.
Mercedes tells Monsieur Bois-Dore its story. Mauritanian by birth, she was the daughter of a poor farmer. The Moors were persecuted and, by order of the Spanish king, were expelled from the country to Africa. The ship crashed in a storm on the rocks of the French coast. Mercedes sought refuge and met a man with a pregnant woman on the road. The man was killed by bandits, and the woman from the shock gave birth to a boy and died. Mercedes and the child were sheltered by a priest. The things left by the child's parents indicated his noble origin. The priest wrote to the minister many times in order to find out something about this family, but did not receive an answer. Before his death, he bequeathed Mercedes to find the boy's relatives. Monsieur de Bois-Doré decides to keep them in his castle and raise Mario as a nobleman, as the boy reminds him of his deceased beloved younger brother.
Monsieur de Bois-Doret decides to end his single life and marry Lorianne. Bellinda communicates this news to the priest Poulin, who immediately informs d'Alvimar about it.
Both applicants arrive at the castle of M. de Bevre. Before the girl's eyes, d'Alvimar kills a young wolf raised in a kennel. Horrified, Lorianna refuses the Spaniard, he disgusts her. Monsieur de Bois-Doré's proposal surprises her, but, nevertheless, she asks him for seven years of trial.
A young gypsy La Flèche comes to the castle with a little gypsy Pilar and offers to predict fate. Those present give him coins, only d'Alvimar gives a cobblestone. Pilar predicts Monsieur de Bois-Dore the joy and comfort he will receive through revenge. He will wash away with blood the insult inflicted on him and after a certain period of time he will become a father. Pilar predicts death for the Spaniard.
Monsieur de Bois-Doré is hit by d'Alvimar's dagger. The same motto was on the dagger of the man who killed and robbed Mario's father. Mercedes recognized him, but did not want to talk about it. Comparing the dates and reading the letters, Monsieur de Bois-Doré realizes that Mario's father was his own brother. He recognizes the boy as his nephew and leaves him with Mercedes in his castle. But was d'Alvimar the killer? Cunning Monsieur de Bois-Doré forces the Spaniard to confess to the crime. At this time, Guillaume d'Ars arrives at the castle and takes the Spaniard to his place.
Monsieur de Bois-Doré with his faithful people overtakes travelers on the road and kills the Spaniard in a duel. The Marquis asks a familiar peasant woman and her friend, a monk, to bury d'Alvimar.
Lorianne arrives with her father at the Bois-Dore castle. She is introduced to Mario as the heir. Seeing the boy, Monsieur de Beuvre decides that he is a more profitable party for his daughter, and Lorianne takes her word back.
Monsieur de Beuvres must go away on business and leaves his daughter in a stutterer Bois-Doret so that the girl is protected, since the district is restless due to the hostilities in La Rochelle.
Volume II
Lorianne is having a great time. Together with Mario, she participates in various pranks. Soon, broken dishes and stained clothes appear in the castle. Monsieur de Bois-Doré believes that this is Mario's trick, but the boy points to Bellinda and she is fired.
The priest Poulin, having learned all the secrets of the castle from Bellinda, tells the Prince of Condé that the Huguenot de Bois-Doré killed a Spanish Catholic in a duel, and in the castle Bois-Doré there are treasures that the owner of the castle stole from the churches.
In the castle of Bois-Dore, a nobleman with his retinue asks for shelter. Entering the castle, the guest announces to the owner that he is an advisor and demands an explanation about the murder of the Spaniard and the shelter of the heretic Zhovlen. An adviser has been instructed to conduct a search in the castle. He wants to start with a locked room, to which not everyone has access. The servants trick the advisor into confessing that he is in fact a prince, and the alleged adviser is removed from the castle.
Monsieur de Bois-Doré asks one of his friends, Monsieur Robin de Coulomb, to hide his servant, fearing for his life. De Coulomb has an old uninhabited house next to a small farm, and the owners of the farm will help the fugitive. The farmer and his wife believe that the house is haunted, but agree to help. Monsieur de Bois-Doré does not believe in ghosts and goes there himself.
Hiding in an empty house, Monsieur de Bois-Doré hears some voices and sees shadows, one of which is very similar to the murdered d'Alvimar. The Marquis turns to those whom he asked to bury the murdered, and they confess that having searched his pockets, they found a wallet full of gold. While they were discussing how to dispose of this money, the corpse disappeared. Monsieur de Bois-Doré assumes that the corpse was stolen by a Spanish servant. From his things, he takes the papers, which turn out to be a report to the Prince of Condé against France.
Upon learning of the mysterious shadows in an abandoned house, Messrs. De Coulomb and d'Arce find out that many suspicious people are wandering around. At night, taking the servants, they decide to set up an ambush. To divert suspicion from himself, Monsieur de Bois-Doret travels with Mario to a neighboring town. Mario, accompanied by a servant, he sends home.
In one of the villages near the castle, a boy sees a body lying on the road. He tries to find help, but shots are heard from the castle. Having approached closer, Mario and a servant see how the servants of Monsieur de Bois-Doret fight with a strangely dressed army. The guide hides the boy in a safe place, while he himself goes to the aid of the besieged. Mario sees d'Alvimar and La Flèche among the attacking servants. In one of the huts closest to the garden, he meets the gypsy woman Pilar, his old friend. From her, he learns that she nursed a wounded Spaniard in an abandoned house, who died in the morning. Pilar fled from La Flèche, who mocked her. Knowing that now Monsieur de Bois-Doré is in the inn, Mario and Pilar, disguised as beggars, go to warn him of the danger.
The inn is full of armed Reitars, but the children cunningly sneak into the kitchen. The innkeeper, who knows Messieurs Bois-Doret, hides the Marquis, while Pilar runs for help. Since the owner of the inn is now gone, Monsieur de Bois-Doré pretends to be him. The leader is waiting for his wife with an army, and in the meantime he demands a good dinner, as he has heard from his wife about the master's culinary abilities. Soon his wife appears, who turns out to be Bellinda. She orders the soldiers to tie the boy up, demanding that Monsieur de Bois-Doré marry her. The Marquis signs the paper, but then the French burst into the inn and Monsieur de Bois-Doré and Mario escape. On the way, they meet a detachment of d'Arsa, who had been warned by Pilar.
The attackers are driven out of the Bois-Dore castle, but the Spaniard's servant Sancho attacks the Marquis. Mario kills Sancho and saves his adoptive father. With the help of friends, Monsieur de Bois-Doré defeats the attackers, and Bellinda is sent to prison.
In the old hut, Mario and Lorianne tell each other about their experiences. Mario confesses his love to the girl and asks to marry him. Lorianne hesitates: she is older than Mario, whether they will love each other in the future, and she still does not feel the love of a woman for Mario. During the conversation, a stone flies at them, but the children believe that this hut is falling apart from old age.
To celebrate the funeral mass for the dead, Monsieur de Bois-Doré and his friends are looking for the priest Poulin. He is found tied up in an abandoned house. Violating the secret of confession, Poulin says that in fact the Spaniard was the son of Sancho, the leader of a gang of robbers. It was Sancho who initiated the assassination of M. de Bois-Dore's brother.
Lorianne worries that there is no word from her father. Mario, as best he can, consoles her. The prince decides to repress the Huguenots of his province and seize the property of Monsieur de Bevres if he does not return within the specified time. Since he was far away, the prince orders to send Lorianne to the monastery. Monsieur de Bois-Doré asks the soldiers who have arrived for the girl for permission to take her there himself. Mario and his servants come up with an escape plan, but Lorianne refuses. Mercedes goes with her.
Four years pass. The Marquis, no matter how hard he tried, could not achieve the release of the captive. Lorianne is released from the monastery after the conclusion of the peace. Monsieur de Beuvre returns shortly.
Messrs. Bois-Dore and Guillaume d'Ars visit the castle of M. de Bevres. Guillaume looks after Lorianne and asks for her hand in marriage. Monsieur de Bois-Doré declares that the girl's hand has already been promised to Mario. Monsieur de Beuvre leaves the decision to his daughter. In private, he persuades her to accept d'Ars's offer, but Lorianne refuses.
Monsieur de Bevre and the Marquis de Bois-Doré agree on the betrothal of Lorianne and Mario. Monsieur de Beuvres must leave again, so he decides to take Lorianne to his relative.
Monsieur de Bois-Doré is taking Mario to Paris to collect information about his mother. He finds out that his mother came from a noble family, and her relatives do not want to know the boy raised as a heretic.
Returning home, Mario and the Marquis learn that Mercedes has married Zhovlena.
Before leaving, Monsieur de Beuvres informs Lorianne that Mario has become a Catholic. In separation, the girl realizes that she loves Mario, and suffers from his betrayal. Monsieur de Beuvre dies during the siege of La Rochelle.
Three years later, Mario enters the French army. At one of the inns, they meet Pilar with Bellinda. A little gypsy woman predicts Mario's death.
At night, Pilar comes to Mario. She always loved him and did not let Bellinda poison him and the Marquis. Pilar is jealous of him for Lorianne, she threw a stone at them, but did not hit. After fleeing, Pilar met Bellinda. The gypsy woman had money that she stole from d'Almivard. Bellinda tricked her and took them. Now Bellinda is dead, Pilar killed her. Pilar demands love from Mario, otherwise she will kill Lorianne. Mario wants to detain her in order to bring her to justice, but the gypsy escapes.
In one of the battles, Mario delivers an important package to the command and for this gets several days of vacation. He wants to go to Lorianne, as he is worried about the threat of Pilar. On the way, a wound received in battle makes itself felt. A servant accompanying him invites a doctor, but Mario is getting worse. Pilar appears and saves Mario - the doctor gave him poison. Pilar reassures him that he will not harm his beloved, although Lorianne despises him.
Having met with Lorianne, Mario is afraid of the gypsy. Pilar, who sneaks behind him, is arrested by archers on charges of witchcraft. The gypsy asks Mario to intercede for her.
Lorinna and Mario explain to each other. The fortune of the de Bevres family has been confiscated, now Lorianne is not rich, but Mario still loves her and invites her to marry him, despite the age difference. They hear a terrible cry and the smell of burnt meat - Pilar was burned at the stake.
Soon, a magnificent wedding is being played at the Bois-Doré castle, where the bride Lorianne does not look older than the groom Mario.