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The Man In The Iron Mask
     

The Man In The Iron Mask

4.6 652
by Alexandre Dumas
 

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"The Man in the Iron Mask" is a historical fiction novel, written by Alexandre Dumas, that takes place in the 1600s in France. Aramis, one of the former musketeers and a bishop, goes to the Bastille to visit Philippe, the imprisoned twin brother of the current king, Louis XIV. He tells Philippe that he can put him on the throne, switching him with his brother.

Overview

"The Man in the Iron Mask" is a historical fiction novel, written by Alexandre Dumas, that takes place in the 1600s in France. Aramis, one of the former musketeers and a bishop, goes to the Bastille to visit Philippe, the imprisoned twin brother of the current king, Louis XIV. He tells Philippe that he can put him on the throne, switching him with his brother. Philippe is apprehensive at first, but Aramis insists the two men can do great things together. At a party in Vaux, thrown by Fouquet, one of the king's advisors, Aramis plans to make the switch. The king is not pleased with the party's lavishness, and uses missing money from the treasury as a reason to arrest Fouquet. He tells D'Artagnan, the captain of the musketeers and friend of Athos, Porthos, and Athos, to watch over Fouquet during the night until the king makes a final decision. Aramis kidnaps Louis XIV and puts Philippe in his place. Philippe, as king, says he will not arrest Fouquet. Aramis, overjoyed that his plan has worked and his friend is free, tells Fouquet about the switch of kings, but Fouquet quickly goes to free the king and set things right. Aramis and another former musketeer, Porthos, are forced to flee to Belle-Isle, one of Fouquet's islands. The king does not immediately arrest Fouquet, taking all his money before finally doing so. D'Artagnan chases after Fouquet on horseback and brings him in for the king.

Athos, another former musketeer, is living with his son, Raoul. Raoul is in love with Louise la Vallerie, his former lover, but she is the mistress of the king. To escape his anguish, Raoul goes to Africa, where he hopes to die in battle since he knows he will soon die of a broken heart anyway. D'Artagnan is ordered by the king to capture Porthos and Aramis, after taking Philippe to a new prison on St. Marguerite. D'Artagnan pursues them, but resigns instead of capturing his friends, unable to betray them. Aramis and Porthos try to defend themselves, but Porthos dies in the battle. Aramis escapes to Spain, where he becomes a duke. King Louis XIV convinces D'Artagnan not to resign, but cooperate with the king's will. Louis XIV pardons Aramis. Raoul is killed in action in Africa, and Athos dies as soon as he hears of his son's death. D'Artagnan eventually leads the king's army in an attack against Holland. He is soon promoted to marshall for his dedication to his country, but is killed by a cannonball right after learning of his promotion.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781484171677
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
04/20/2013
Pages:
518
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.04(d)

Meet the Author

One of the most widely read French authors famed for his historical fiction of high adventure, Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) wrote more than a hundred plays and novels, including the famous Three Musketeers trilogy, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Man in the Iron Mask. His books have been translated into more than 100 languages.

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Man in the Iron Mask (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 652 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In life, he was sentenced to a cruel fate--in death, he would become a legend. Alexandre Dumas tells the tale of the mysterious man who was imprisoned in the Bastille starting in the 168o's until his death some thirty years later. During that time his face had been hidden by an iron mask. While his identity remains a mystery, there are some tantalizing clues which might remove the mask from the man. Most prisoners of the French prison were usually important people who had fallen out of favor with King Louis XIV. Given strict orders by the king, the Musketeers were to kill him if he removed his mask. He ate in the mask, slept in the mask, and eventually died in the mask. In 1717, Voltaire was imprisoned at the Bastille. According to him, the man in the iron mask was around 60 when he died, and bore a striking resemblance to a very famous aristocrat. Of course, the most famous aristocrat in France at that time was King Louis XIV, who was also in his 60's. Another prisoner at the Bastille, Joseph de Lagrange, asserted that Benigne d'Auvergne de Saint, the governor of Sainte Marguerite, treated the mystery man deferentially and referred to him as 'prince'. Stories about the mysterious prisoner are conflicting. Some state that he wore a mask of velvet, not iron. Evidence has surfaced saying that the prisoner was buried under the name M. de Marchiel. And later, a death certificate giving the prisoner's name as Marchioly and his age of 45 was found. Another states, that in 1789 Frederic Grimm, a famous writer, claimed that a valet had revealed to him that Louis XIV had an identical twin. And that Louis XIII, feared the brothers would grow up to fight over the throne, so he sent the second-born baby away to be raised in secret. The boy was taken into a nobleman's household and treated with great respect, but he was never told who he really was. As he grew up, he saw a portrait of King Louis XIV and guessed the truth. He was immediately arrested, and spent the rest of his life as the Man in the Iron Mask. Many people believed this to be false, and believe it was elaborated and embroidered by Alexandre Dumas as the years passed. It has been said that when the Bastille was stormed by a revolutionary mob, the prince's skeleton was discovered, still wearing his iron mask. Of course, there is no record that this actually happened.
Jayqualitee More than 1 year ago
This book is the very final entry in the Three Musketeers Series by Alexandre Dumas. The Book brings about the end of all but one of the four musketeers who are: Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'artagnan. The 'man in the iron mask' is the titular character of the book but he is only an incidental character in the story and he takes up approximately one quarter of the plot or less. The story involving the man in the iron mask and the very premise of the plot surrounding this character is very thrilling and intellectually pleasing. the back of the book describes the man in the iron mask as a prisoner whose face has been hidden from all for the eight years that he has been imprisoned in the Bastille and that he knows neither his name or why he is there. I will not give away why he is there and who he is but it is definitely a great surprise worth the read. The identity of this titular character is revealed very close to the beginning of the story and it will instantly have you hooked. It is worth reading much of the slow beginning to get to the parts of the story involving the man in the iron mask. Reading these parts about the clever devices that Aramis uses to execute his plan surrounding the man are enough to make one giddy. The book takes a different turn about 2/3 of the way through the book and the man in the iron mask is not heard from anymore. The rest of the story comprises of the final ventures of the three musketeers and how their lives come to an end. This part of the book is still very readable even to people who are not fluent in the first books surrounding the Three Musketeers and any person can find this book enjoyable.
apanteva More than 1 year ago
Great story and excellent reading
Guest More than 1 year ago
In life, he was sentenced to a cruel fate--in death, he would become a legend. Alexandre Dumas tells the tale of the mysterious man who was imprisoned in the Bastille starting in the 168o's until his death some thirty years later. During that time his face had been hidden by an iron mask. While his identity remains a mystery, there are some tantalizing clues which might remove the mask from the man. Most prisoners of the French prison were usually important people who had fallen out of favor with King Louis XIV. Given strict orders by the king, the Musketeers were to kill him if he removed his mask. He ate in the mask, slept in the mask, and eventually died in the mask. In 1717, Voltaire was imprisoned at the Bastille. According to him, the man in the iron mask was around 60 when he died, and bore a striking resemblance to a very famous aristocrat. Of course, the most famous aristocrat in France at that time was King Louis XIV, who was also in his 60's. Another prisoner at the Bastille, Joseph de Lagrange, asserted that Benigne d'Auvergne de Saint, the governor of Sainte Marguerite, treated the mystery man deferentially and referred to him as 'prince'. Stories about the mysterious prisoner are conflicting. Some state that he wore a mask of velvet, not iron. Evidence has surfaced saying that the prisoner was buried under the name M. de Marchiel. And later, a death certificate giving the prisoner's name as Marchioly and his age of 45 was found. Another states, that in 1789 Frederic Grimm, a famous writer, claimed that a valet had revealed to him that Louis XIV had an identical twin. And that Louis XIII, feared the brothers would grow up to fight over the throne, so he sent the second-born baby away to be raised in secret. The boy was taken into a nobleman's household and treated with great respect, but he was never told who he really was. As he grew up, he saw a portrait of King Louis XIV and guessed the truth. He was immediately arrested, and spent the rest of his life as the Man in the Iron Mask. Many people believed this to be false, and believe it was elaborated and embroidered by Alexandre Dumas as the years passed. It has been said that when the Bastille was stormed by a revolutionary mob, the prince's skeleton was discovered, still wearing his iron mask. Of course, there is no record that this actually happened.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was so cool. I had not read the Three Musketeers, but after this book, I'm hooked. Alexandre Dumas is a great writer with a flare for suspenseful scenes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written by a true master. This is not Randall Wallace's 1998 film version, which bears very little in common with Dumas' masterpiece. It will make you curse, it will make you weep, and it will make you appreciate the demise of monarchy and the creation to democracy, no matter how flawed our system may be. Enjoy, if for no other reason than the beauty of the words.
jfb More than 1 year ago
The Man in the Iron Mask was not my favorite of Dumas work, but still it was an interesting read. The plot was disjointed and clumsy, and Dumas's style of writing only increased this effect. The actual "man in the iron mask" plot/character played a relatively insignifigant role in the novel, the rest of the book dealt mainly with political intrigue. The action was relatively slow in the beginning, but gets better as it progresses. I personally liked many of the final scenes near the end the best. And i did enjoy some of his interesting depictions of historical characters, like Louis XIV and Fouquet. Overall, not Dumas best, but not bad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most of the "reviews" are just garbage and have nothing to do with this book. Just pages of nonsense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I came to see if this book had any good reviews. I'm sure other people have too. Please don't use it as a chatroom!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
If you are familiar with the main characters from The Three Musketeers, you are pretty much set for a new adventure with this book.  However, please keep in mind that the Musketeers we have all grown to know and love have aged, albeit gracefully, when this story starts. Prepare for court intrigues, musket battles, plots and twists, and of course Musketeer adventure!  The good Musketeers learn of a twin for the Prince, but he has been secreted away for all of his life.  This secret creates havoc as the Musketeers feel their duty is to right the wrong done to the young prince.  However, this causes chaos between the noble swordsmen to the King and the Royal family.   Loyalties are tested, and friendships are tried.  This book is full of everything that one can expect of a Musketeer tale, including bloodshed and tears.  It definitely lives up to its predecessors.
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Amen. Find a chat room. Great book. Love the story behind it all. DrewDog
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stop chatting/rp on a book review either get a life, or find a chat room.
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He watched, his eyes flicking around at the others.