The Man in the Iron Mask: The True Story of the Most Famous Prisoner in History and the Four Musketeers

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Carroll & Graf, 2005 - History - 348 pages
6 Reviews
Alexandre Dumas said that his famous Three Musketeers never existed, but Athos, Aramis and Porthos were flesh and blood. Their supposedly fictional duel with Cardinal Richelieu's guards actually took place in 1640 and Charles d'Artagnan, a teenager on his first day in Paris, fought alongside the Musketeers.

According to Oxford historian Macdonald, several other elements of the tale are also based in fact — the Cardinal's agent, Milady de Winter, really was an English aristocrat, and against all odds, the country boy without influence, d'Artagnan, did succeed in becoming Captain of the King's Musketeers, the only man whom Louis XIV could trust to arrest his over-mighty minister, Fouquet. It was d'Artagnan who escorted Fouquet to the feared Alpine fortress of Pignerol, wherein lived the most mysterious of all prisoners, the Man in the Iron Mask.

Macdonald has spent five years unraveling fact from fiction to reveal the true story of the Musketeers and their link with the Man in the Iron Mask. It is a reality more extraordinary than anything Dumas could devise. Honor and heroism, betrayal and intrigue, are set amidst the lust, jealousy, and deadly poisons that made the Sun King's court a world of glittering paranoia.

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Review: The Man in the Iron Mask: The Mystery Solved

User Review  - Gnuehc Ecnerwal - Goodreads

The version I read does not have the ":The Mystery Solved" in the title. I wouldn't have bought the book if it did. This is like reading juicy gossips from another era. Tremendously enjoyable but dubious in historical accuracy. Good for reading on the beach, etc. Read full review

Review: The Man in the Iron Mask: The Mystery Solved

User Review  - Venus - Goodreads

A non-fiction mystery about who the real man in the iron mask was, written like fiction. This is a great page turner. Macdonald knows how to build suspense into his non-fiction that is very hard to do. Read full review


The Facts behind the Fable
A Gascon in Paris
The Devils Child

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About the author (2005)

Roger Macdonald is a writer, journalist and television producer. He studied history at Oxford, specialising in the French Ancien Regime. His many books include a historical guide to Provence and the Cote d’Azur.

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