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Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras


New Menu Selections For Gascon Adventurer:


 CYRANO DE BERGERAC (poet, swordsman, musician)

MILADY (The Real Evil Agent of the Cardinal from the pages of History)

GATIEN DE COURTILZ DE SANDRAS (Author of the Memoirs of D'Artagnan)

RALPH NEVILL (English Translator of the Memoirs of D'Artagnan)

ACTUAL MUSKETEER LETTERS (A rare look into the Musketeer past)

DONAREE THE MUSKETEER (New Musketeer Novel by Ted Anthony Roberts)

MUSKETEER STORIES (Started novels by Ted Anthony Roberts)

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (His views on Le Vicomte de Bragelonne)





A Biography of Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras

Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras (1644 – 8 May 1712) was a French novelist, journalist, pamphleteer and memorialist.

De Sandras was born at Montargis, Loiret.

His abundant output includes short stories, gallant letters, tales of historical love affairs (Les Intrigues amoureuses de la Cour de France, 1684), historical and political works, biographies and semi-fictional "memoirs" (in the first person; his prefaces often indicate that the works were composed from papers found after the subject's death) of historical figures from the recent past (such as the Marquis de Montbrun and M. de Rochefort). His memoir-novels (Mémoires de M.L.C.D.R., [The Memoirs of the Count de Rochefort] 1687; Mémoires de M. d'Artagnan, 1700; Mémoires de M. de B.; 1711) describe the social and political world of Richelieu and Mazarin with a picaresque realism (spies, kidnappings, and political machinations predominate) and they were important precursors to both French picaresque novels and literary realism in the 18th century.

Courtilz de Sandras is best known today for his semi-fictionalized memoirs of the famous musketeer d'Artagnan which were published in 1700 (27 years after the death of d'Artagnan) and which served as the model for Alexandre Dumas, père's portrayal of d'Artagnan in the The Three Musketeers (Fr: Les trois mousquetaires), Twenty Years After (Fr: Vingt ans après) and The Vicomte de Bragelonne (Fr: Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard).

Courtilz de Sandras served in the army before becoming a writer. He was imprisoned several times in the Bastille where Besmaux, the former companion of d’Artagnan, was warden and it was most likely from this source that he learned the details of d'Artagnan's life.

For more on Sandras, either keep scrolling down [to learn more about the Memoirs of both d'Artagnan and Rochefort, or visit these links:

Author Hoax's

Ralph Nevill [translator for Sandras]

The real d'Artagnan

The real Musketeers

Or, simply return back to the Main D'Artagnan Page!

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The Memoirs of Monsieur d'Artagnan
















by Ralph Nevill

The "Memoirs of D'Artagnan," although purporting to have been published by Pierre Marteau, at Cologne, were really printed at The Hague. They are the work of Courtilz de Sandras, an extremely prolific and, it must be added, Imaginative writer. Born at Montargis, in 1644, he became a captain in the Régiment de Champagne, and, while still pursuing his military career, composed several works, which were published in Holland—a country to which he eventually migrated. Sandras remained some time in voluntary and not unprofitable exile, but, returning to France in 1694, he managed, some eight years later, to incur the displeasure of the authorities. It was probably his authorship of " Les Annales de Paris et de la Cour " which led to his disgrace. Thrown into the Bastille, he remained there for nine years, the early part of his captivity being of a particularly rigorous nature. He was, however, liberated in 1711, and proceeded on his release to marry for the third time. His choice, it appears, fell upon a widow, " la veuve Auroy; " but Sandras did not long survive to enjoy afresh the delights of freedom and matrimony, for his demise occurred in May the following year, 1712.

A voluminous writer, nearly all his works claim to be the autobiography or biography of some well known character of his day. Most of them, indeed, were given to the public as authentic memoirs, but several severe critics have spoken of them as historical novels.

Amongst these is Voltaire, who has warned the world to beware of placing too great reliance upon the statements made in the many volumes which Sandras produced, at the same time somewhat harshly characterizing their author as a dangerous and unscrupulous writer.

Be this as it may, Sandras certainly wrote (as Bayle has said) with great vivacity and clearness, and although in many cases his chronology leaves much to be desired, most of the adventures he relates with so much vigour and life are founded upon fact. His is a spirited and romantic (if perhaps highly coloured) picture of seventeenth century life in France - a picture which cannot fail to fascinate and amuse ail those who have a taste for historical romance.

The " Memoirs of D'Artagnan " are, in this particular line, a masterpiece. Alexandre Dumas recognized them as such, for from the pages of Sandras's “D'Artagnan " came the material and inspiration for his immortal " Three Musketeers." The originals of the pictures Dumas so picturesquely drew pass before us in the pages of the Memoirs. Miledi, De Treville, the Musketeers themselves—ail are there— less decorous it is true in conduct, and a shade more human in their actions than in the modem work. While making every allowance for exaggeration on the part of Sandras, there is no overlooking the fact that the career of D'Artagnan was really one of a most dashing and romantic kind. The Memoirs, indeed, are probably a collection of the stories and traditions of the famous Musketeer's life current in his day, together with other détails of his exploits which the author was able to glean from such documents and letters as he had chanced to come across. A true soldier of fortune—the younger son of a poor though noble family of Bearn—Charles de Batz de Castelmore, Comte d'Artagnan, Captain-Lieutenant of the 1st Company of the King's Musketeers, combined extraordinary charm of manner with great Personal bravery. As daring, from ail contemporary accounts, in the service of Venus as of Mars, his rise from cadet in the Guards to the position which he occupied at his death in battle, was due in no small measure to his popularity with the fair sex. Madame de Motteville, indeed, terms him in her Memoirs "a creature of Cardinal Mazarin's," but this unflattering reference is probably the outcome of political spite. To the fair sex the gallant Musketeer was irresistible, and many of the hearts to which he laid siege appear to have surrendered at his first onslaught.

According to St. Simon, D'Artagnan enjoyed the confidence of Louis XIV., and he makes particular mention of the devotion of that monarch to his Captain of Musketeers, and of his sincere grief at his untimely death at the siege of Maestricht in 1673, where he fell while gallantly leading his company to the attack.

The Musketeers had retired to rest for the night, when the order was given for them to recapture a position which the defenders of the town had managed to take. Although utterly tired out, they rushed to the charge under the leadership of their captain, who, in the sanguinary conflict which ensued, met a soldier's death at the head of his men. It is said that these soldiers, greedy of glory as they were, reckoned their victory dearly bought on account of the loss of a commander whom they idolized. Besides D'Artagnan, there were in this fight thirty-seven men killed and fifty-three wounded of the 1st Company of Musketeers, which went into battle two hundred and fifty strong!

It was on the occasion of the disgrace of Fouquet, Surintendant des Finances, in 1661, that Louis XIV. gave such proof of the great reliance he placed upon his Captain of Musketeers. By the King's own Personal wish he was chosen to effect the arrest of that minister. The King himself handed D'Artagnan the lettre de cachet in his own private closet, feeling sure, as a trustworthy writer says, that he could find no better man to carry out his wishes. Nor was his confidence misplaced. Fouquet's arrest was managed in such a way that ail disturbance was avoided, and, to the credit of his captor be it said, with as much delicacy and gentleness as the circumstances allowed.

Escorted to Pignerol by a guard of Musketeers, the captive, we learn, was treated with every consideration possible, D'Artagnan even going so far as to supply him with furs wherewith to make his journey the more comfortable. M. de Treville had been the first commander of the Musketeers, and D'Artagnan succeeded his former patron as Captain-Lieutenant of the 1st or King's Company, being himself succeeded on his death in 1673 by the Chevalier de Fourbins, who, from all accounts, never appears to have attained the popularity or renown of his predecessor, who by general consent had been recognized as the perfect type of everything a Musketeer should be.

Frequent mention will be found in the Memoirs of one Besmaux, a companion in arms of D'Artagnan's, who too often appears in a somewhat contemptible light. This Besmaux, curiously enough, afterwards became Captain of the 2nd Company of Musketeers (Cardinal Mazarin's company), and died in 1697, having in his time occupied the post of Governor of the Bastille.

A short account of this gallant company - a body of troops whose memory is still surrounded with a halo of romance—may not here be out of place.

The Musketeers of the Guard were the corps d'élite of the household troops of the French kings. They were practically founded by Louis XIII. , although in the previous reign a small guard of somewhat the same kind had existed. M. de Troisville, who afterwards called himself De Treville, was their first captain lieutenant, and held this rank throughout the whole of the reign of Louis XIII. At first, like ail troops of their time, they wore no particular uniform, and it was only in 1657 that Louis XIV. decreed that they should don a special dress. The 1st Company consisted of 250 men, all mounted on white or grey horses, who were known as " Mousquetaires gris." The captain was the King himself, and the company was reckoned the crack corps of France. Its standard of white satin bore a device representing a bomb, shot in the air from a mortar, falling on a town; underneath, “Quo ruit et lethum."

The company was quartered in the Rue du Bac, and the facings, lace, etc., of the uniform were of gold. The 2nd Company (originally Cardinal Mazarin's) had barracks in the Rue St. Antoine. The men were mounted upon black horses, and, in consequence, were known as " Mousquetaires noirs." On the standard was a bundle of twelve arrows pointing downwards, with the motto, "Alterius Jovis altéra tela." The facings of these Mousquetaires were not as rich as those of the 1st Company, being only of silver. The uniform of both companies was blue with a silver cross, and their original weapon was the "mousquet," afterwards exchanged for a brace of pistols, in addition, of course, to the sword worn by ail mounted troops.

Composed for the most part of young men of from seventeen to twenty years of age, the dash and courage of the Musketeers became proverbial, and on many occasions secured victory to the French arms. The last time this proved the case was at Fontenoy, where their charge at the head of the King's household troops decided the day.

In the turmoil and anarchy of the Revolution the Musketeers disappeared practically for ever. An attempt indeed was made to revive the corps on the restoration of the French Monarchy, but its existence had become an anachronism, and the recreated "Mousquetaires du Roi " bore but little resemblance to the famous cavaliers of the ancien régime who already loomed, "mere old world shadows," across the blood-red mists of the Terror.

The Musketeer belonged to the old France—that France which with its stately pomp and ceremonious chivalry had vanished into the past. The spirit which had animated him was no more. Careless, prodigal, brave and loyal, he was no sympathizer with democracy and its somewhat pinchbeck ideals, and indifferent to most things except love or war, his motto, like that of the old chivalry of France, was ever "Dieu! Mon Roi! Ma Dame!"

With regard to this translation, the Memoirs have not been abridged or tampered with in any way. I have, however, ventured to divide them into chapters, for to the modem reader a volume without any break whatever is apt to appear tedious. Those who may take exception to some of D'Artagnan's adventures and doings, I would bid remember that life in the seventeenth century, especially the life of a French soldier of fortune, is not to be judged by the moral standard which this century affects, and would assure them, as they themselves will perceive from a perusal of the Memoirs, that no one is quicker to recognize his faults than their hero. Certainly his resource and pluck, under the most trying and occasionally embarrassing circumstances, must command admiration, even should they not inspire respect. In conclusion I hope, while fully conscious of many shortcomings, that I have not entirely failed in my attempt to render into acceptable English the seventeenth-century French of the original.

RALPH NEVILL, English transltor





By Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras


As but a short time has elapsed since M. d'Artagnan's death, and there are a good many people who knew him, and were even intimate friends of his, these will not be annoyed (especially those who found him worthy of their esteem) at my bringing together in these pages a quantity of fragments which I discovered in his papers after his death.

The fragments in question I have utilized for the composition of thèse Memoirs, while giving them such sequence as they lacked. When found, they had none whatever, and in their arrangement lies all the credit I can claim in this work. Here is the plain truth as to my share of it!

I will not entertain myself by vaunting M, d'Artagnan's birth, although I have found much on this subject among his notes of a very favourable nature. I have been afraid of laying myself open to accusations of wishing to flatter him, the more so as everyone does not agree that he really belonged to the family whose name he adopted. If this be the case, he is not the only one who has striven to appear more than he really was. Anyhow, there was a comrade of his who at least did the same thing when he saw himself in luck's

way. I mean to allude to M. de Besmaux, who was first of ail a soldier in the Guards with him, then a Musketeer, and eventually Governor of the Bastille.

The only difference between the two men is that, after both of them having started from the same beginnings, that is to say, with much poverty and misery, and both having raised themselves beyond their hopes, the one

died almost as much a beggar as when he came into the world, and the other an extremely rich man. The rich one, that is M. de Besmaux, was, ail the same, never under fire of a musket-shot ; however, flattery, avarice, hard-heartedness, and artifice did more for him than sincerity. Disinterestedness, goodness, and courage were the qualities of the other. We must believe that both of them were faithful servants of the King, one of them even to the extent of his purse, so much so, that he was like a certain ambassador whom the King had in England, of whom his Majesty was wont to say that he would not have spent a halfpenny, even had the safety of the State been concerned ; whereas the other threw his money about like dirt, if he so nuich as thought his duty needed it.

If I here make mention of M. de Besmaux, it is that, as I shall have much to say of him in the sequel, it does not seem out of place to show him up for what he really was.

Of this work itself I shall say nothing. No words of mine can make it successful ; it must itself possess the requisite qualities to appear so in the eyes of others. Mayhap I should be deceived in any opinion I might form about it, having had some hand in its composition; besides, people always admire their own work. Indeed, if I am not its father, I have at any rate undertaken the tutorship of it. Thus I should be no less open to suspicion than is a master who wants to speak of his pupil, well knowing that ail his praiseworthy qualities will redound to his own glory ; I will, therefore, say nothing, from fear of exposing myself to that condemnation from which I would strive to preserve others. I prefer to leave ail the praise to M. d'Artagnan, should opinion decide that there is any due to him for the composition of this work, and lay no claim to divide the favours of the public with him, should it deem them to be deserved.

All that I will urge in my own justification (always supposing that I am saying nothing that may appear tedious) is that the materials left me are as much to blame in case of failure as myself. It is impossible to build a grand and superb mansion unless everything necessary to carry out its design is at one's disposal. Neither can anyone produce a fine diamond out of a small one, whatever skill may be brought to bear upon the task.

Let us, however, speak more frankly. What is the good of feigning modesty? I am arguing against my own convictions when I declare that I have lacked materials for the composition of this work, and express my fear of not being able to arrange them in their proper place. Rather let me say, as a proof of real sincerity, that the material I have made use of is very valuable in itself, and that perhaps I may be found to have made none too bad a use of it.

Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras, 1700 A.D.


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The Memoirs of the Count de Rochefort






[Written by Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras]


An Account of what passed most

Memorable, under the Ministry of

Cardinal RICHELIEU, 


Cardinal MAZARIN, 


Many particular passages of the Reign of 

Louis the Great. 

Made English from the French




Printed by F.L for James Knapton at the Crown

in St. Pauls Church-yard; Richard Parker at

the Unicorn under the Piazza of the Royal

Exchange; and Tho.Nott at the Queens Arms

in the Pall-mall. 1696



The translation of this Book, may perhaps stand in as much need of an apology as another, to make some excuse for a great many errors; but the translator professes, he has that indifference for it, that he had rather own ‘em all, and leave it to the readers discretion to damn or forgive ‘em, as he pleases than trouble himself any more about it.

For one excuse, amongst a thousand others used upon these occasions, he might say, that the translation suffers extremely for want of leisure, but he has not the face to pretend such a thing, when 'tis but too apparent that it suffers indeed for want of a little application. This negligence is his unhappiness but too late to he helped now: Nay, what’s worse, if it was to be done again, ‘tis to be feared he could not be prevailed on to take the pains to revise it, for the Reputation of Writing never so correctly.

As for the work it self, the translator, when he read it, fancy’d he found something more pleasant and entertaining in it than ordinary, and that engaged him to make it English, much when he had once undertaken, he was no longer at liberty to reject some other things that to him appeared trifling enough. To make amends for which it must be confessed, that through the whole Book, there is a great variety of very surprising passages, and that most of 'em are very diverting to any doubts the truth of them, he is referred to the French Preface, which is written in purpose to justify the Author's sincerity. Though after all, the passage about his Birth is reckon’d by some not only a doubtful Story, but an impossibility: but perhaps he might himself be imposed on in that for 'tis no new practice to call such Births Miraculous, which happen a little too soon for the credit of the family.

As for the style, if after what has been said the reader will be so unreasonable as to expect the language in the translation to be very pure and just, he must be inform’d, that the original in that respect is none of the mofi finished pieces in its own tongue . For though the Author was a person of quality, and of extraordinary parts and address, yet it was his Misfortune that his education was not only far from that of a man of learnings but much inferior to his Condition.

The subject, is the Particularities of his own life, which required no more than a free, easy, and natural style, and that he has for the most part observed well enough. ‘Tis sufficient then if the translator has not mistaken his sense, and that 'tis hoped he has not done, nor in the main done him any great injury.


THE French Publishers PREFACE: [coming soon]


For sale:

The Memoirs of The Count De Rochefort:
by Gatien Courtilz de Sandras

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Printed by Fr. Leach, for J. Nicholson, et al; Third Edition, Corrected edition (January 1, 1705)
  • ASIN: B002Y6BO80


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The Count de Rochefort


The Comte de Rochefort is a secondary, but important, fictional character in Alexandre Dumas' d'Artagnan Romances. He is described as "around forty or forty-five, fair with a scar across his cheek".

In "The Three Musketeers": Known throughout the novel as "The Man from Meung", his first appearance is in the opening chapter of The Three Musketeers. He insults d'Artagnan and steals his letter of recommendation to Monsieur Treville, causing d'Artagnan to swear revenge.

He reappears from time to time as the story progresses; d'Artagnan regularly sees Rochefort and tries to catch him, but never gets to actually meet him again and learn his name until the end of the novel. It is Rochefort who kidnaps Constance Bonacieux, and we eventually learn that he is the other main agent (in addition to Milady de Winter) of Cardinal Richelieu. He is sent by Richelieu to escort Milady de Winter in some of her missions. At the end of the novel, Rochefort tries to arrest d'Artagnan for the cardinal, who eventually orders the two men to become friends. In the Epilogue, we learn that Rochefort, and an older and wiser d'Artagnan, have fought on three occasions (all duels being won by d'Artagnan), settle their differences and become friends.

The Three Musketeers (Wordsworth Classics)The Three Musketeers (Oxford World's Classics)The Three Musketeers (Graphic Classics)
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by Alexandre Dumas père
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by Alexandre Dumas
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by Alexander Dumas
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by Alexandre Dumas
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by Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers (Marvel Illustrated)The Three Musketeers (Enriched Classics)The Three Musketeers (Calico Illustrated Classics)
The Three Musketeers (Marvel Illustrated)
by Roy Thomas
The Three Musketeers (Enriched Classics)
by Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers (Calico Illustrated Cl...
by Alexandre Dumas

In "Twenty Years After": Rochefort would reappear in the sequel, Twenty Years After. Having been put into bad favor with Richelieu's successor Mazarin, he only comes out of the Bastille after five years. When Mazarin dismisses him from service for being too old, he joins the side of the Frondeurs. He aids Athos in freeing the Duke of Beaufort and reappears in the end at the riot against Mazarin's return. Not realizing who he was in the chaos, d'Artagnan kills his old friend, as he had predicted he would if they fought a fourth time.

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by Alexandre Dumas
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by Alexandre Dumas Père

In Other Fiction: The Comte de Rochefort was the subject of an earlier novel, Mémoires de M.L.C.D.R. (Memoirs of Monsieur Le Comte de Rochefort) written in 1678 by Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras. Courtilz de Sandras also wrote Mémoires de M. d'Artagnan (1700). Dumas combined the two, replacing an aristocrat named Rosnay from the d'Artagnan story with the Comte de Rochefort.

  • A thug nicknamed Rochefort plays the role in the book "The Club Dumas" by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
  • Rochefort is the narrator and protagonist of Mary Gentle's novel 1610: A Sundial in a Grave.
  • Rochefort appears in Jason's 2008 Graphic novel 'The Last Musketeer' in which he colludes with the Emperor of Mars to invade Earth.

In Film: Rochefort has been played by:

  • Ian Keith in both the 1935 and 1948 versions of The Three Musketeers
  • Christopher Lee in the 1973 movie The Three Musketeers, as well as the sequels The Four Musketeers and The Return of the Musketeers.
  • Michael Wincott in the 1993 movie The Three Musketeers.
  • Tim Roth in the 2001 movie The Musketeer.

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Three Musketeers (1948) [VHS]
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The Three Musketeers

For a COMPLETE list of our Three Musketeer Movies, click here: 3 Musketeers!

Film incarnations tend to depict Rochefort as a far darker character than in the novel, and often extend his role. Unlike in the original novel, d'Artagnan ends up killing Rochefort in duel in The Four Musketeers (though he turns up alive in The Return in the Musketeers, only to die "again" in a gunpowder explosion intended for (and partially triggered by) the musketeers), and the character suffers the same fate in the 1993 adaptation. In his three appearances as Rochefort, Christopher Lee wore an eyepatch, intended to make the character look more sinister. The eyepatch, while a departure from Rochefort's appearance in Dumas' novel, was deemed striking enough to be retained in several other adaptations, as Wincott and Roth both retained it in their portrayals of the character, as well as in Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds and the anime version.

Dogtanian's Rochefort has a scar on his forehead rather than his cheek. Throughout the series, the title character often calls him "Black Moustache".

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CLICK HERE for Plot Details, and to Read the Introduction and First Three Chapters!




Product Details (From

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (November 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449913172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449913175
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds



"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..." ~