A Novel

Cover image for


Author: Louis Couperus
Published: 1921
Language: English
Wordcount: 86,957 / 259 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 56.2
LoC Category: PT
Downloads: 635
Added to site: 2010.09.21 29054

There have been many workers among novelists in the field of royal portraiture, but it may be safely stated that few of those who have essayed this dubious path have achieved more striking results than M. Couperus. Majesty is an extraordinarily vivid romance of autocratic imperialism, and the main aim of the book is so legitimate, and its treatment so sympathetic and artistic, that it is to be regretted that the author should have adopted the portrait form at all. The striking but superficial resemblance between the leading characters of the story and those of more than one reigning imperial house, will, no doubt, prove a bait to readers hungry for personalities; but the real merits of the book--its dramatic intensity and powerful characterization--are entirely independent of this factitious interest.

Show Excerpt

n and passionate good-will, his timidity and desperate courage; nowhere has he used greater tenderness than in his sketch of the chivalry and gratitude which did duty for love in the passionless union of Valérie and the crown-prince.


LINCOLN'S INN, LONDON, 7 October, 1920.


My first translation of Majesty was written in collaboration with my dear friend Ernest Dowson and published in the year 1895. A small edition was sold by the London publisher to Messrs. D. Appleton & Company and has long been out of print. Messrs. Appleton, with characteristic generosity, have relinquished to the present publishers any copyright which they had established in the book and have thus enabled me to produce this new version. For even a translator's style undergoes notable modifications in a quarter of a century; and I should not have been satisfied to see this novel reissued in its earlier English form. The story should not therefor


Average Rating of 4.5 from 2 reviews: *****

An interesting representation of the twilight of a fictional European imperial family. Very good development of the principal characters, enough that I wished the storyline had continued a little further, to know what may or may not have happened to them in their future.


A novel about the twilight of absolute monarchy in the days before WWI. The Hamlet-like crown prince of a fictitious balkan kingdom is beset by doubts about his superiority. His father, a staunch absolutist, is the target of revolutionary activity.

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