Arkady Alexeev
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The Adventures of Giulio Mazarini
Servant - Diplomat - Cardinal - Ruler of France


Book 1


This is a novel about the life of Giulio Mazarini (Jules Mazarin as he is known in France and the English speaking world). He began his amazing career as a servant and ended it as ruler of France. The main events of Mazarini's life as they are known in history are presented accurately, but some personages, historical details, encounters and dialogues are imaginative. The novel consists of four books. The first one has a subtitle "In the service of Constable Colonna." It describes the young Mazarini who in 1620 arrived in Spain from Italy as servant-companion of an Italian noble Geronimo Colonna to study at a university (both were eighteen). On their way they are seized by robbers, but are saved by Giulio's resourcefulness and help of Nodaro, a Madrid merchant. Mazarini falls in love with Nodaro's daughter Maria. Giulio and Geronimo are late for the admission deadline, but Giulio talks the university rector into admitting them. This causes the enmity of the vice-rector Count de Arcos, the rector's rival. Giulio wins the favor of the great Spanish noble Count de Olivares. King Philip III of Spain is ill. Mazarini procures "holy water" for him. The king's favorite Duke de Uceda becomes jealous. He incites Count de Arcos to accuse Mazarini's friend Geronimo of heresy as he cannot attack Giulio esteemed by the king. Geronimo is arrested by the Inquisition, but soon De Arcos is condemned for a murder and Geronimo is released. The king dies. De Uceda accuses Mazarini and Olivares of poisoning the king with the "holy water." In a dramatic showdown Mazarini proves his and Olivares' innocence. De Uceda is arrested. Giulio wants to marry Maria, but Geronimo thinks he deserves a better future and sends him away to Italy writing his father to detain Mazarini there, which he does. Giulio despairs -- he has lost his Maria. But after a while his energetic and active nature wins over. He thinks of his future and is ready for new adventures.

How this novel was created