iron man

So here begins a series of craft and research blogs I’m doing for various sites to publicize the paperback of Before Versailles. At the end, I’ll point you to sites that have giveaways of the paperback……………

The man in the iron mask in an intriguing story in the history of France. The person who brought it to light was the famous French philosopher and historian Voltaire. Legend is that when the Bastille was stormed during the French Revolution, a skeleton still wearing its iron mask and remnants of the clothing of Louis XIV’s time was found in a dungeon. There is no proof the discovery was true, but the tale reverberated. It’s a good story and was used by famed writer Alexandre Dumas as a tiny piece of his long plot in his saga of three musketeers. Dumas made the prisoner Louis XIV‘s twin brother. Voltaire conjectured that the prisoner was Louis XIV’s real father, though some sources say the man was a brother. All sources say there was indeed a prisoner who had to be treated with great respect, of whom no record or name was written down, who wore, perhaps, a black silk mask because no one was allowed to see his face. In the museum of Langres there is a simple iron mask on display which is said to be the mask the famous, unknown prisoner wore. Was the man a spy, a valet, a nobody, a king’s brother, a lover of a queen? No one knows the truth, and much speculation is based on letters and gossip that can’t be proved. But it is what I call a “yummy” story, one that directly connects to the time of Louis XIV, and my feeling was, if Dumas can use it in his fiction, so can I. I was glad to have it; it moved the plot of Before Versailles in a way I hadn’t anticipated and helped me form the character of Louise de la Baume le Blanc, or as she is better known, Louise de la Valliere.

For more detail, read The Man Behind the Iron Mask by John Noone.
This blog written for Broken Teepee, and there’s a giveaway.
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7 responses to “iron man

  1. I have the hardcover version of this and I just adore it. It is, in fact, a yummy story. I didn’t want it to end! Thanks for being such an awesome writer. 🙂

  2. Never knew the background of the story. I did read the Three Musketeer series and loved it. Dumas was an awesome writer. Great idea to incorporate the iron mask story in Before Versailles. Without photographs how did the common folk know who anyone was? Even the king.. Would they recognize him on the street? probably not. So you have to wonder why someone would have to keep their face covered..

  3. Louis would be recognizable from the image on coins……that’s how Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were recognized in their escape attempt during the French Revolution…….

    • Really? wow.. I don’t know if I could id someone from a coin impression. especially if they altered their hair, type of dress.. Geez.. maybe they should have dispensed with the vanity money? The entire French Revolution might have turned out differently.

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