Book 7 La Dame de Montsalvy - The Lady of Montsalvy by Juliette Benzoni
website created September 2008

La Dame de Montsalvy


Linda Compagnoni Walther, webmaster, 31 October 2009

On my first visit to
Juliette Benzoni 2009 I finally learned the reason why the « seventh book » La Dame de Montsalvy of the Catherine series, had never been translated into English.
Her French publisher had very good business relationships with the English publisher Heinemann Ltd.  and did everything in his power that
Juliette Benzoni's Catherine would continuously be translated.  Years later, after the publication of Catherine and a Time for Love which had ended with an epilogue, Juliette was again asked to sit down and let the readers know more of the life of Catherine and Arnaud. Happily she agreed to do this and wrote two more books.
In 1973 Piège pour Catherine
(A Snare for Catherine) was published but times had changed...
The company Éditions Trévise who had published the Catherine books since 1963 had closed their doors. This is also the explanation for the gap of six years until the seventh book La Dame de Montsalvy came into the book market as late as 1979!

Under the new management, the foreign translations seemed to be less important than the home editions! Unfortunately, one of the forgotten languages was English... and millions of English readers across America and the UK were cheated out of the joy to know if Catherine and Arnaud would see each other again - or if the hero died at Châteauvillain (see a Snare for Catherine)

I have received many letters since launching the Catherine de Montsalvy website in 2008! Fans of the books were aghast to learn that there was a seventh book, having believed that our hero Arnaud had died at Châteauvillain at the hands of that villain Le Damoiseau - leaving our heroine a widow with two little children!

In the last couple of years I had written to publishers all over the world, begging them to publish La Dame de Montsalvy in English.  They did not even have the decency to answer my letters !

But the miracle happened in 2014 when Telos Publishing contacted me ! The rest is now history, not only will the books be re-issued - this time the famous book as I used to call it, will finally be made available in English for the faithful readers of Juliette Benzoni.  My dearest friend Juliette who left us on February 7, 2016 had been overjoyed and happily signed the contract with Telos Publishing.

Who said that Happy-endings do not exist anymore nowadays ?A day to rejoice...

see also → Info Page

Facts and Trivia

First published in France by Editions de Trévise 1979
French version 345 pages, chapters 14

so far not translated into English and many other languages!

Chapter by Chapter summary : 25 pages by ©Linda - deleted now because of the news from Telos Publishing.

for Catherine and international book covers (30 countries !!) see my special pages

Routes of Catherine  - as seen from the view of the TV-Series Catherine, il suffit d'un amour

Press articles about Catherine

more Catherine Quotes from the seven books

Ballad of Catherine 1965
    Text: written by Juliette Benzoni
    Singer: Bernard Stéphane

Film Adaption in 1968 Catherine, Il suffit d'un amour
    Director Bernard Borderie
    Music by Michel Magne

Television-Serie in 1986 Catherine, Il suffit d'un amour
    Co-Production Antenne 2 - SFP
    Director Marion Sarraut
   Adaption Juliette Benzoni & Jean Chatenet
   Music by Robert Viger


synopsis : La Dame de Montsalvy - translated from French by Linda Compagnoni Walther

In the final book of the series...Catherine must not only face fear, murder and the horror of war...but also a treacherous trap, which separates her from her beloved husband Arnaud de Montsalvy. She must abandom him, gravely wounded, in the camp of Damoiseau de Commercy. She finds refuge in the château of her friend the Comtesse Ermengarde de Châteauvillain. The château is under siege by the cut-throat Damoiseau de Commercy, Robert de Saarebrück.

During her long hours of helplessness, she reflects on the tide of events - undoubtedly the cruellest she has so far lived to see. The attackers suddenly disappear, leaving behind scenes of fire and blood. Catherine begins a new life, following the difficult road ahead with hopes of victory and joy. She desperately wants to return home to Montsalvy. She yearns to see her adorable children, from whom she had no news in months, and to be reunited with Arnaud, whom she still loves in spite of everything that has happened when they last met.

But her journey is to be long and difficult. King René d'Anjou has been imprisoned by Duke Philippe of Burgundy. On her way to Dijon to save King René (and delivering the letter she carries from Queen Yolande, his mother) she falls into a fierce ambush, laid by the devilish Robert de Saarebrück.

Catherine, escorted by her faithful page Béranger and her squire Gauthier de Chazay, makes a detour to unexpected horizons - to Lorraine, Luxembourg and Flanders. On the way she meets Duke Philippe of Burgundy, who is still in love with Catherine.

After a difficult time of healing, she is impatient to be on her way home, to her children her vassals in the mountains of Auvergne...but what will await her there?


Memorable Quotes

translated from the original French book La Dame de Montsalvy by Linda Compagnoni Walther, webmaster

"You are neither stupid nor mentally disabled, but you have sufferd already too much!
Anxiety and clear thoughts have never been a good mix. Well then, give us your trust mylady! You know very well, we would go to hell, to bring back Seigneur Arnaud your husband, and at the same time a bit of happiness!"

Gauthier de Chazay to Catherine de Montsalvy  - Chapter One

"I am the lady of Montsalvy and I have come to see my uncle Mathieu -  conduct me to him! The reverend mother abbess, whom you aloud yourself to throw out of the house is my own sister. But I would like you to know that you will have much more difficulty to get rid of me!"

Catherine de Montsalvy to Amandine La Verne - Chapter Two

"Shall I continue, Sire? It seems to me, you have ordered me to undress...exactly as if I was a whore, brought to you for your pleasure!"

Catherine de Montsalvy to King René d'Anjou - Chapter Four

"Arnaud! Arnaud, I am coming back...don't go away...wait for love..wait for me...I want to come back..home..."

Catherine de Montsalvy, talking in her sleep - Chapter Five


"My God, how stupid I am, but of course we know each other! You are much too beautiful to be forgotten Madame! Is it not so, that we met at King Charles Court the first time?
The false Jeanne d'Arc to Catherine de Montsalvy - Chapter Six

"You have cried...and only a short while ago! When I met you, you never cried! However, Seigneur Arnaud had not yet given you the immense honour then, to take you for his wife!"

Jean Van Eyck to Catherine de Montsalvy  - Chapter Seven

"Allow me Monseigneur to interupt you! In a second Your Highness will treat me like a spy!"

Catherine de Montsalvy to Duke Philippe of Burgundy - Chapter Eight

"I want you to make love to me, that you love me one more time, the way only you can make love! I want to give you this whole night...and I want to know if the love of a man can do also something else to me than horror!...

Catherine de Montsalvy to Duke Philippe of Burgundy - Chapter 9
"I have had that honour, since I saw him twice fighting: once at Azincourt and another time at Arras in a duel. A rude fighter - a great warrior...and the most abominable character I have ever known!"
Jean de Saint-Rémy to Gauthier de Chazay -  about Arnaud de Montsalvy - Chapter Eleven

"I am not your mistress anymore. Remember, Philippe! At Lille I told you clearly that it was a good-bye...definitely! I do not have the habbit of successives good-bye's...

Catherine de Montsalvy to Duke Philippe of Burgundy - Chapter 11

" I have not come back to start a revolution, Gauberte. I came back to take back my place and I will take it back, believe me!"

Catherine de Montsalvy to Gauberte - Chapter 12

"It looks as if you are having guests Messire, but you will have to find another logis for her, than the rooms of our lady. They are not available!"

Sara to Arnaud de Montsalvy - Chapter Thirteen

"I would go so far to say that he loves her too much, that this love poisons his life because it forces him not only to think about himself, his life as a man of war, or great heroic actions. His Catherine he carries in himself in the depth of his soul - like a crossbowbold which cannot be taken out. Never will he be able to pull it out - and he knows that.

Josse Rallard to Gauthier de Chazay - Chapter Thirteen

"It's not about you, Arnaud de Montsalvy, and I have already said it! It's about two women..particucalry one...whom you have not given one reason to sacrifice her life for you! Do come here Dame Catherine! Do come here, my poor child!

Abbot Bernard to Arnaud de Montsalvy - Chapter Fourteen
"I beg you, answer me! In the name of the living God, tell me the truth, your truth! Do you still me? Has there remained some of the previous love, from the past?
Catherine to Arnaud her husband - Chapter Fourteen

"My incomparable! Do I still love you? But I have adored you my whole life, and I will never stop loving you...never! As long as there remains a thought, a breath within me. I will go on loving you.

Arnaud to Catherine his wife - Chapter Fourteen

"Why do you say our cruel history? Me, I found it beautiful. And why do you speak in bygone times? Are we already so old? Are you so sure that it is finished?...

Catherine to Arnaud - Eight days later, watching the flames of their living rooms of the château

"I hope so! It must be so! Although you may have sometimes some regrets or longing for the long roads or distances. It must be so, because happy people have no history, and now I want only to be happy with you and our children. I want to be only happy!"

Arnaud to his beloved wife Catherine

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