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Prince Zilah   By: (1840-1913)

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Prince Zilah by Jules Claretie is a captivating novel that delves into the world of 19th-century European politics, love, and honor. Set against the backdrop of a changing society, the book follows the life of Prince Zilah, a foreign diplomat in Constantinople.

From the first page, the reader is instantly drawn into the mesmerizing narrative. Claretie's writing style is elegant and evocative, transporting us to a bygone era where secrets and treachery lurk in the shadows, and where the fate of nations lies in the decisions made by men of power. The author seamlessly weaves historical events into the story, creating a believable and immersive experience for the reader.

One of the book's greatest strengths is its rich character development. Prince Zilah is a complex and intriguing protagonist, torn between his duty to his country and his forbidden love for a woman he cannot have. His internal struggle between passion and loyalty is palpable, making him a relatable and sympathetic figure. The supporting characters are equally well-crafted, adding depth and dimension to the narrative.

Claretie's exploration of political intrigue adds an additional layer of excitement to the story. The inner workings of diplomatic circles, the delicate balance of power, and the webs of deception woven by both friend and foe create an atmosphere of suspense that keeps the reader engaged until the very end. The author's meticulous attention to detail not only brings the setting to life but also sheds light on the challenges faced by those who navigate the treacherous world of international relations.

Furthermore, Claretie's prose is incredibly descriptive, painting vivid images in the reader's mind. The lush landscapes of Constantinople, the opulent palaces, and the bustling city streets are described with such precision that one can almost feel the scorching sun on their skin or hear the clamor of a crowded bazaar. This attention to detail adds depth to the story, immersing the reader in the vibrant tapestry of the setting.

On a more introspective level, Prince Zilah also explores themes of honor, sacrifice, and the consequences of one's actions. Through the trials and tribulations faced by its characters, the novel raises thought-provoking questions about morality and the price one is willing to pay for what they believe to be right.

Overall, Prince Zilah is an enthralling historical novel that seamlessly blends political intrigue, romance, and moral dilemmas. Claretie's masterful storytelling and well-developed characters make this book a must-read for lovers of historical fiction. It is a captivating journey that transports the reader to a fascinating era filled with passion, danger, and the timeless struggle between love and duty.

First Page:


By Jules Claretie

With a Preface by Compte d'Haussonville of the French Academy


Arsene Arnaud Claretie (commonly called Jules), was born on December 3, 1840, at Limoges, the picturesque and smiling capital of Limousin. He has been rightly called the "Roi de la Chronique" and the "Themistocle de la Litterature Contemporaine." In fact, he has written, since early youth, romances, drama, history, novels, tales, chronicles, dramatic criticism, literary criticism, military correspondence, virtually everything! He was elected to the French Academy in 1888.

Claretie was educated at the Lycee Bonaparte, and was destined for a commercial career. He entered a business house as bookkeeper, but was at the same time contributing already to newspapers and reviews. In 1862 we find him writing for the Diogene; under the pseudonym, "Olivier de Jalin," he sends articles to La France; his nom deplume in L'Illustration is "Perdican"; he also contributes to the Figaro, 'L'Independence Belge, Opinion Nationale' (1867 1872); he signs articles in the 'Rappel; as "Candide"; in short, his fecundity in this field of literature is very great. He is today a most popular journalist and writes for the 'Presse, Petit Journal, Temps', and others. He has not succeeded as a politician... Continue reading book >>

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