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Rafael Sabatini

The Essential Rafael Sabatini Collection (15 books)


Rafael Sabatini (April 29, 1875 - February 13, 1950) was an Italian/British writer of novels of romance and swashbuckling adventure.

Rafael Sabatini was born in Jesi, Italy, to an English mother and Italian father. His parents were opera singers who became teachers.

At a young age, Rafael was exposed to many languages, living with his grandfather in England, attending school in Portugal and, as a teenager, in Switzerland. By the time he was seventeen, when he returned to England to live permanently, he was the master of five languages. He quickly added a sixth language — English — to his linguistic collection. He consciously chose to write in his adopted language, because, he said, "all the best stories are written in English."

After a brief stint in the business world, Sabatini went to work as a writer. He wrote short stories in the 1890s, and his first novel came out in 1902. In 1905 he married Ruth Goad Dixon, the daughter of a Liverpool merchant. It took Sabatini roughly a quarter of a century of hard work before he attained success with Scaramouche in 1921. This brilliant novel of the French Revolution became an international best-seller. It was followed by the equally successful Captain Blood in 1922. All of his earlier books were rushed into reprints, the most popular of which was The Sea Hawk from 1915. Sabatini was a prolific writer; he produced a new book approximately every year. While he perhaps didn't achieve the mammoth success of Scaramouche and Captain Blood, nonetheless Sabatini still maintained a great deal of popularity with the reading public through the decades that followed. The public knew that in picking up a Sabatini book, they could always count upon a good read, and his following was loyal and extensive.

His only son, Rafael-Angelo (nicknamed Binkie), was killed in a car crash on April 1, 1927. In 1931, he and his wife Ruth divorced. Later that year he moved from London to Hay-on-Wye. In 1935 he married the sculptor Christine Goad, his former sister-in-law. They suffered a further tragedy when Christine's son, Lancelot, flew over their house the day he received his RAF wings. The plane went out of control and crashed in flames before their eyes.

By the 1940s, illness forced the writer to slow his prolific method of composition. However, he did write several additional works even during that time. He died February 13, 1950 in Switzerland. He is buried at Adelboden, Switzerland. On his head stone his wife had written, "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad", the first line of his best-known work, Scaramouche.

He is best known for his worldwide bestsellers:

  • The Sea Hawk (1915), a tale of the Spanish Armada and the pirates of the Barbary Coast;
  • Scaramouche (1921), a tale of the French Revolution in which a fugitive hides out in a commedia dell'arte troupe and later becomes a fencing master (Sabatini wrote a sequel ten years later);
  • Captain Blood (1922), in which the title character is admiral of a fleet of pirate ships (Sabatini also wrote two sequels comprising short stories); and
  • Bellarion the Fortunate (1926), about a cunning young man who finds himself immersed in the politics of fifteenth-century Italy.

The first three of these books have been made into notable films in the sound era—in 1940, 1952, and 1935, respectively. However, the silent films of his novels, less well known, are also notable. His second novel was made into a famous "lost" film, Bardelys the Magnificent, directed in 1926 by King Vidor with John Gilbert in the lead, and long viewable only in a fragment excerpted in Vidor's silent comedy Show People. A few intact reels have recently been discovered in Europe. The fully restored version premiered on TCM on January 11, 2010. Two silent adaptations of Sabatini novels which do survive intact are Rex Ingram's Scaramouche (1923) starring Ramón Novarro, and The Sea Hawk (1924) directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Milton Sills. This is actually a more faithful adaptation than the 1940 remake with Errol Flynn. A 1924 silent version of Captain Blood, starring J. Warren Kerrigan, is partly lost, surviving only in an incomplete copy in the Library of Congress. The Black Swan was filmed in 1942 starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara. In all, he produced thirty-one novels, eight short story collections, six non-fiction books, numerous uncollected short stories, and a play.




  • Scaramouche (1921)
  • Scaramouche the King-Maker (1931)

Captain Blood

  • Captain Blood (1922) (also known as Captain Blood His Odyssey)
  • Captain Blood Returns (also known as The Chronicles of Captain Blood ,1931)
  • The Fortunes of Captain Blood (1936)
N.B. Captain Blood Returns and The Fortunes of Captain Blood are not sequels, but collections of short stories set entirely within the timeframe of the original novel.


  • The Lovers of Yvonne (also known as The Suitors of Yvonne , 1902)
  • The Tavern Knight (1904)
  • Bardelys the Magnificent (1905)
  • The Trampling of the Lilies (1906)
  • Love-At-Arms: Being a narrative excerpted from the chronicles of Urbino during the dominion of the High and Mighty Messer Guidobaldo da Montefeltro (1907)
  • The Shame of Motley (1908)
  • St. Martin's Summer (1909)
  • Mistress Wilding (also known as Anthony Wilding , 1910)
  • The Lion's Skin (1911)
  • The Strolling Saint (1913)
  • The Gates of Doom (1914)
  • The Sea Hawk (1915)
  • The Snare (1917)
  • Scaramouche (1921)
  • Fortune's Fool (1923)
  • The Carolinian (1924)
  • Bellarion the Fortunate (1926)
  • The Hounds of God (1928)
  • The Romantic Prince (1929)
  • The King's Minion (also known as The Minion , 1930)
  • The Black Swan (1932)
  • The Stalking Horse (1933)
  • Venetian Masque (1934)
  • Chivalry (1935)
  • Scaramis (1936)
  • The Lost King (1937)
  • The Sword of Islam (1939)
  • The Marquis of Carabas (also known as Master-At-Arms , 1940)
  • Columbus (1941)
  • King In Prussia (also known as The Birth of Mischief , 1944)
  • The Gamester (1949)
  • Saga of the sea (1953)
  • The Treasure Ship (2004)


  • The Justice of the Duke (1912)
  • The Banner of the Bull (1915)
  • The Nuptials of Corbal (1927)
  • The Reaping (1929)
  • Turbulent Tales (1946)
  • Sinner, Saint And Jester: A Trilogy in Romantic Adventure (omnibus, 1954)
  • In the Shadow of the Guillotine (Omnibus comprising Scaramouche, The Marquis of Carabas and The Lost King ,1955)
  • A Fair Head of Angling Stories (1989)
  • The Fortunes of Casanova and Other Stories (1994, stories originally published 1907-21 & 1934)
  • The Outlaws of Falkensteig (2000, stories originally published 1900-2)
  • The Camisade: And Other Stories of the French Revolution (2001, stories originally published 1900-16)


  • The Tyrant: An Episode in the Career of Cesare Borgia, a Play in Four Acts (1925)

Anthologies edited

  • A Century of Sea Stories (1935)
  • A Century of Historical Stories (1936)

Non fiction

  • The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912)
  • Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition (1913)
  • The Historical Nights' Entertainment (1917)
  • Heroic Lives (1934)


Selection from our Rafael Sabatini Store:
Captain Blood (Penguin Classics)Captain Blood (Penguin Classics) by Rafael Sabatini
Buy new: $10.20 / Used from: $0.50
Captain Blood ReturnsCaptain Blood Returns
The Chronicles of Captain BloodThe Chronicles of Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $46.45
The Fortunes of Captain BloodThe Fortunes of Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $30.01
The Banner of the BullThe Banner of the Bull by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $13.49
The Historical Nights' EntertainmentThe Historical Nights' Entertainment by Rafael Sabatini
BellarionBellarion by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $54.25
The Romantic PrinceThe Romantic Prince by Rafael Sabatini
The Sea-HawkThe Sea-Hawk by Rafael Sabatini
Buy new: $11.86 / Used from: $0.01
The Hounds of GodThe Hounds of God by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $45.54
Venetian MasqueVenetian Masque by Rafael Sabatini
ScaramoucheScaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
Buy new: $5.95 / Used from: $2.35
The Tavern KnightThe Tavern Knight by Sabatini, Rafael
Buy new: $17.95 / Used from: $3.59
Biography - Sabatini, Rafael (1875-1950): An article from: Contemporary Authors OnlineBiography - Sabatini, Rafael (1875-1950): An article from: Contemporary Authors Online by Gale Reference Team
Buy new: $9.95
The Strolling SaintThe Strolling Saint by Rafael Sabatini
Buy new: $19.95 / Used from: $19.95
King in PrussiaKing in Prussia by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $80.00
The Marquis of CarabasThe Marquis of Carabas by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $63.29
Turbulent TalesTurbulent Tales by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $5.95
The Nuptials of CorbalThe Nuptials of Corbal by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $17.86
The Lovers of Yvonne: Being a Portion of the Memoirs of the Sieur Gaston De LuynesThe Lovers of Yvonne: Being a Portion of the Memoirs of the Sieur Gaston De Luynes by Rafael Sabatini
Buy new: $18.95 / Used from: $15.71
The GamesterThe Gamester
ColumbusColumbus by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $89.53
The Life of Cesare BorgiaThe Life of Cesare Borgia by Sabatini, Rafael
Buy new: $17.95 / Used from: $14.74
Torquemada and the Spanish InquisitionTorquemada and the Spanish Inquisition by Rafael Sabatini
Buy used from: $194.33

New Musketeer Novel!





"Nicely done. I really enjoyed the history in the introduction and the duel is well written. Best of luck with the novel!" ~ Author David Lee Summers, author of five books: Vampires of the Scarlet Order, The Solar Sea, and the "Old Star" science fiction series: The Pirates of Sufiro, Children of the Old Stars, and Heirs of the New Earth.

"Very exciting read! Felt like I was there witnessing the action!" ~ Candle Artist Jfay,

"I really enjoyed the humour and really laughed, not at Monsieur de la Donaree but with Monsieur de la Donaree! I dont know if you wrote it in this spirit but if you had a bit of Molière in you, I would not be surprised! He knew how to study people and would turn situations into a comic play! I laughed out loud, this is a gem! Not only de la Donaree is a fine sword, he has also a fine nose when it comes to pinpoint personalities, I'm talking about the Inkeeper and his situation with the wife here!! The second part is indeed in pure swashbuckling spirit, in rhythm and enthusiasm! And the end is a cliff-hanger! The beginning is "cocasse" (funny) as they might have said then in Gascony, and witty! Indeed Alexandre Dumas had a sense of humour too and satirically created at least one of his character ( in another book) to a character made up by Molière in one of his comic play. And Molière also took his inspiration from Dumas' s Musketeers and "The Man in the Iron Mask." I liked it! I had fun while reading this chapter about Monsieur de la Donaree, as while following the spirit of the Musketeers you gave a contemporary touch to the text!" ~ Artist Nicole Marques,

"Hurrah, Ted! I gleefully await the next installment! LOVE the romantic stuff! Bring it on! There are few things in this world I like better than a hot Viscount. Keep going, Ted! Bravo! Keep writing! I can't wait to read more! But it is par for the course as I am also a writer. Keep in touch!" ~ Author Genella de Grey, author of "Remember Me."

"Wow - What a wonderful beginning. As a whole, you have a unique way of writing & you captivated me by a few sentences peaking my interest to continue. For instance: ...hazed by the early morning mist...I love it! I look forward to reading the next chapter. You've gained my interest. That was impresive & informative. You've still got the hook in & I'm dangling to hear more. Thanks for the sneak peak." ~ Aspiring Author R.F.Taylor: Rianna

"Well done. Chapter One entices the reader craving more. I will look for The Adventures of Monsieur de La Donaree the Musketeer on the web. Keep up the excellent writing..." ~


CLICK HERE for plot details, and to read the Introduction and First Two chapters!