Linda Compagnoni Walther, webmaster, 31 October 2009
On my first visit to
Benzoni 2009 I
finally learned the reason why the « seventh
book » La Dame de Montsalvy of the
Catherine series, had never been translated into
Her French publisher had very good business
relationships with the English publisher
Heinemann Ltd. and did everything in his
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
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 →
in France by Editions de Trévise 1979
French version 345 pages, chapters 14
far not translated into English
and many other languages!
Chapter by Chapter
summary : 25 pages by
- deleted now because of the news from Telos
Catherine and international book covers (30 countries !!) see my
Routes of Catherine
- as seen from the view of the
TV-Series Catherine, il suffit d'un amour
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
Director Bernard Borderie
Music by Michel Magne
Television-Serie in 1986 Catherine, Il suffit
Co-Production Antenne 2 - SFP
Adaption Juliette Benzoni & Jean Chatenet
Music by Robert Viger
synopsis : La Dame de Montsalvy -
translated from French by Linda Compagnoni
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
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?
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!
and clear thoughts have
been a good mix. Well then, give us your trust mylady!
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
"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 me...my love..wait for me...I want to come back..home..."
Catherine de Montsalvy, talking in her sleep
"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
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
Monseigneur to interupt you! In a second Your
Highness will treat me like a spy!"
Montsalvy to Duke Philippe of Burgundy - Chapter
"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
"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 -
" I have not come back to
start a revolution, Gauberte. I came back to
take back my place and I will take it back,
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
"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 child..my poor child!
Abbot Bernard to Arnaud de Montsalvy
"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
Catherine to Arnaud her husband
- Chapter Fourteen
"My sweet...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
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
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
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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