`Dear sister!' said Charles IX, `there is blood on your sleeve!' `And what consequence is that, Sire,' said Marguerite, `if I have a smile upon my lips?' Saint Bartholomew's Day 1572. Paris is awash with the blood of Huguenots slaughtered by order of Charles IX. Or perhaps of Catherine de Medicis, one of history's great monsters? Or the ambitious Duke de Guise? Or the Duke d'Anjou, soon to be the reluctant King of Poland? The answer will be foundin the secret passageways of the Louvre and the torture chamber of the fortress of Vincennes. It takes an iron nerve and a cool head to survive. Young Henry of Navarre has both in abundance, but he has more: he has his Queen, the beautiful, cultured Margot. Staking all on love and losing, sheremains defiant in defeat. La Reine Margot (1845) is a novel of suspense and drama which recreates the violent world of intrigue, murder and duplicity of the French Renaissance. Dumas fills his canvas with a gallery of unforgettable characters, unremitting action and the engaging generosity of spirit which has made him oneof the world's greatest and best-loved story-tellers. This revised edition of the classic translation of 1846 is richly annotated. An introduction sets Dumas and his work in their literary, historical and cultural context.