The Search for the Man in the Iron Mask: A Historical Detective Story

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2016 - France - 252 pages
The Search for the Man in the Iron Mask triumphantly solves an enduring puzzle that has stumped historians for centuries and seduced novelists and filmmakers to this day. Who was the man who was rumored to have been kept in prison and treated royally during much of the reign of Louis XIV while being forced to wear an iron mask? Could he possibly have been the twin brother of the Sun King? Like every other serious scholar, intrepid historian Paul Sonnino discounts this theory, instead taking the reader along on his adventures to uncover the truth behind this ancient enigma. Exploring the hidden, squalid side of the lavish court of France, the author uncovers the full spectrum of French society, from humble servants to wealthy merchants to kings and queens. All had self-interested reasons to hold their secrets close until one humble valet named Eustache Dauger was arrested and jailed for decades, simply because he knew too much and opened his mouth at the wrong time. Presenting his dramatic solution to the mystery, Sonnino convincingly shows that no one will be able to tell the story of the man in the iron mask without taking into account the staggering array of evidence he has uncovered over the course of decades.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LibStaff2 - LibraryThing

3.5 Stars 4 Stars-because of the daunting research included in a organized book on a popular and intriguing historical mystery. 3 Stars-again, because of the exhaustive research in this book ... Read full review

The Search for the Man in the Iron Mask: A Historical Detective Story

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Spurred by a decades-long interest, Sonnino (Mazarin’s Quest) delves through well-combed and newly released documents in this attempt to identify the Bastille’s infamous prisoner: the Man in the Iron ... Read full review

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About the author (2016)

Paul Sonnino is professor of history at the University of California Santa Barbara. His books include Louis XIV's View of the Papacy: 1661-1667, Louis XIV: Mémoires for the Instruction of the Dauphin, Louis XIV and the Origins of the Dutch War, and Mazarin's Quest: The Congress of Westphalia and the Coming of the Fronde.

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