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The Brass Bell or, The Chariot of Death   By: (1804-1857)

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The Brass Bell or, The Chariot of Death by Eugène Sue is a gripping and complex tale of mystery, deception, and justice set in 19th-century France. Sue, a master storyteller, weaves a thrilling narrative that explores the depths of human greed and the battle between good and evil.

The story follows the life of a young and virtuous officer, Rodolphe de Germandre, who finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue when an unexpected inheritance thrusts him into a high-stakes world of power and corruption. As Rodolphe delves deeper into this treacherous maze, he discovers the true motive behind his inheritance—the infamous Brass Bell, a symbol of both immense wealth and untold darkness. With the aid of loyal friends and allies, Rodolphe must navigate a dangerous path to reclaim justice and expose the sinister forces at play.

Sue excels in creating a rich and vibrant cast of characters, each with their own motivations and secrets. From the captivating allure of the mysterious La Goualeuse to the enigmatic villainy of the Brass Bell's sinister guardian, each character contributes nuance and depth to the story. It is through these multidimensional characters that Sue explores the complexities of human nature and the consequences of one's choices.

The plot of The Brass Bell is tightly woven and skillfully crafted, interweaving multiple storylines that converge in a dramatic climax. Sue sets a relentless pace, making it difficult to put the book down as each chapter reveals new twists and turns. From the opulent salons of the aristocracy to the seedy underbelly of Parisian society, the richly detailed settings transport readers to a bygone era.

One of the strengths of Sue's work is his ability to tackle social issues and shine a spotlight on the injustices of his time. Through the narrative, he exposes the harsh realities faced by the lower classes, shedding light on themes of poverty, inequality, and social corruption. His vivid descriptions and heartfelt portrayals of the downtrodden add a layer of social commentary that elevates the book beyond mere entertainment.

Although some readers may find the book's length and occasional digressions a bit daunting, Sue's masterful storytelling more than compensates for this. With its intricate plot, memorable characters, and thought-provoking themes, The Brass Bell or, The Chariot of Death is a riveting novel that stands the test of time. It is a must-read for anyone seeking a thrilling journey through the dark underbelly of 19th-century France while reflecting on the enduring struggles of humanity.

First Page:

THE BRASS BELL

OR

THE CHARIOT OF DEATH

A Tale of Caesar's Gallic Invasion

By EUGENE SUE

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL FRENCH BY

SOLON DE LEON

NEW YORK LABOR NEWS COMPANY, 1907

NEW EDITION 1916

COPYRIGHT, 1907, BY THE

NEW YORK LABOR NEWS CO.

PREFACE TO THE TRANSLATION

The Brass Bell ; or, The Chariot of Death is the second of Eugene Sue's monumental serial known under the collective title of The Mysteries of the People; or History of a Proletarian Family Across the Ages .

The first story The Gold Sickle; or, Hena, the Virgin of the Isle of Sen fittingly preludes the grand drama conceived by the author. There the Gallic people are introduced upon the stage of history in the simplicity of their customs, their industrious habits, their bravery, lofty yet childlike such as they were at the time of the Roman invasion by Caesar, 58 B. C. The present story is the thrilling introduction to the class struggle, that starts with the conquest of Gaul, and, in the subsequent seventeen stories, is pathetically and instructively carried across the ages, down to the French Revolution of 1848.

D. D. L.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Preface to the Translation

Chapter 1. The Conflagration 1

Chapter 2. In the Lion's Den 8

Chapter 3... Continue reading book >>




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