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Author Hoax!

 

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 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)

 

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AUTHOR'S HOAX!

 

 

One Hoax . . . Two Hoax . . . and Three for Good Measure! . . . or, are they a Hoax?

One Author . . . Two Author . . . and Three for Good Measure! . . . so, what's going on? And what did these three men say that is so controversial?

In the year 1673, Monsieur Charles d'Artagnan, famous Musketeer Captain of King Louis XIV., is killed in action on the battlefield. After his death, there is an inventory taken of his personal belongings. Listed amongst these belongings are his "personal papers." But of what these "personal papers" are, we have no idea. However, amongst these "personal papers" we are told, by author Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras, that he had found, in them, an autobiography written by the late Musketeer's own hand. An autobiography that lacked "sequence," as Courtilz puts it; and he gave them the "sequence" that they lacked, and wrote the rare work entitled "The Memoirs of D'Artagnan," telling his readers that the memoirs were actually not his work, but those of d'Artagnan's. But of what this "sequence" is that was lacking, and that Courtilz gave them, we have no idea.

There are many things that have been said of Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras: half these things are good, and half are bad. Amongst today's scholars, it is generally believed that Courtilz was nothing more than a fictionalist, and that his works were "loosely," at best, based upon historical fact. Courtilz claims quiet the opposite, claiming his works to be genuine. One contemporary of Courtilz, however, gave the writer a very good review concerning the Memoirs in question, saying that they were published by Courtilz, who was a very good friend of the late Captain, alluding to that the Memoirs themselves could be relied upon.

By comparing Courtilz's work with actual history reveals that there were historical blunders on his part. His? Yes, his, or the actual biography's authors, anyways. Or, perhaps, we can say that these "mistakes" upon Courtilz's part are merely the "sequences" in question, and that all "reliable" histories in the Memoirs (as that can be proved by actual history) are the parts that Courtilz did not doctor up.

So, what can be concluded from this? Did Courtilz HOAX his readers into believing that he actually found d'Artagnan's autobiography, which lacked "sequence," and fixed them up for the public to enjoy? Is that possible? . . . Yes. Or, is it really possible that he did not HOAX his readers at all, and he really did find d'Artagnan's autobiography, and merely "doctored" them up for the reading public. Is that possible? . . . Yes. Verily, either can be concluded!

THE FACTS:

D'Artagnan was not a very good writer.

D'Artagnan lacked the education to be a good writer.

D'Artagnan could write.

D'Artagnan was intelligent.

D'Artagnan could have written a somewhat loose version of his own life story.

D'Artagnan could have dictated his life story to someone who was writing for him.

It was popular in the Sixteen Hundreds to write one's own Memoirs.

Courtilz did actually know d'Artagnan.

Courtilz could have actually taken these "personal papers" from d'Artagnan's home after his death.

Someone close to d'Artagnan could have given these "personal papers" to Courtilz.

Courtilz could be telling the truth.

Courtilz could be telling a lie.

Courtilz was jailed often for producing Memoirs with controversial issues.

D'Artagnan would have NEVER compromised the court with controversial issues.

The Controversial issues in the Memoirs could be part of the "sequence" added by Courtilz.

Courtilz could have questioned many of d'Artagnan's friends about the events in d'Artagnan's life.

Many of the sequences in the Memoirs could be legends about the Musketeer.

We will never know what is truth or what is false.

As Geofrey Hall, biographer of D'Artagnan, put it - Courtilz's account can be taken as half truth and half fiction. Yet, as Hall admits, Courtilz knew the character of Mazarin (d'Artagnan's employer) incredibly well. So I ask, if that is the case, why couldn't he have known the character of d'Artagnan incredibly well? Is it impossible? Not at all!

What is my conclusion? I think that Courtilz really knew d'Artagnan well; well enough to be his biographer. I do think that he over-dramatized scenes, however, to fit the status of a legend. Yet a lot of these legends in Courtilz's Memoirs can be assumed to be based upon fact. I think that Courtilz, like authors today, took time to know his character before accomplishing such a work. I do not think that anyone else in that day and time would be better suited to have written these memoirs other than Courtilz, for I believe that he did some good homework - even though he lacked the knowledge of d'Artagnan's roots and what he was like up until his early twenties; I think he really knew d'Artagnan's character best when the soldier was getting close to mid-Age. I think that it is highly possible that he did indeed find some papers either written by d'Artagnan's own hand about himself, or perhaps that was dictated by d'Artagnan to a close associate of his, but that these papers were somewhat thin, and lacked much of the details that Courtilz added himself. What Courtilz added, however, were what he knew about d'Artagnan himself, what d'Artagan's friends knew of him (as they told Courtilz), and Courtilz definately added much gossip, or underground rumors of court intrigue, that he figured to be facts, to these memoirs. So, in conclusion, to my conclusion, I believe that Courtilz's d'Artagnan is a character that the real d'Artagnan was probably really like, yet embellished in the process - yet it is a more accurate picture of the real d'Artagnan than what was painted to us by Alexandre Dumas.

Yet, it is still possible that Courtilz HOAXED his readers concerning the fact that he actually found papers written by d'Artagnan himself, being the soldier's autobiography.

Skip ahead to the preface to the Memoirs of Monsieur d'Artagnan!

 

Next, we have Alexandre Dumas. What was his possible HOAX? Well, it is known, from his preface, that he found (actually not him, but by his associate) a copy of Courtilz's Memoirs of D'Artagnan in the Royal Library. Dumas was struck by the three names of Athos, Porthos and Aramis. And he could not rest until he found another work of the period with these three curious names. He could not find any, and merely listing the books that he supposedly read to try and find these names would have filled an entire chapter - which, perhaps, within itself, is highly over-emphasized! He was about to give up, when, aided by a friend, he happened to have found a manuscript written by the hand of an unknown count, entitled: "The Memoirs of the Count de La Fere." A name that curiously was applied by Dumas to the character Athos. We could imagine Dumas's joy when he found the names of the three Musketeers written within. Dumas then claims that he wrote his "Three Musketeer" novel based upon these new set of memoirs, yet to hold him, and not the count de La Fere, responsible for your pleasure or boredom of reading the new book. And even though they are based upon the Memoirs of La Fere, we find, mysteriously, heavy traces of "The Memoirs of D'Artagnan" all throughout, including passages from another rare work of Courtilz, entitled "The Memoirs of the Count de Rochefort," from which we have the tale of the diamond studs, and the branded fleur de lis shoulder. And even though The Memoirs of both d'Artagnan and Rochefort, though rare, are well known, there has not been anyone in history, since Dumas, to have found a copy of the Memoirs of La Fere! As Geoffrey Hall puts it: "Subsequent sluething has never revealed a copy!"

So, did Dumas then HOAX his readers into believing that he found a rare work that he could now base his book upon? Or did he really find this book?

THE FACTS:

Dumas was a writer of FICTION, not HISTORY.

Dumas was a story-teller - of, again, FICTION.

Dumas perhaps felt safe that no one would ever try to find a copy of La Fere.

Dumas could have done without telling anyone about these memoirs.

Dumas wanted the public to think that he was well equipped to writing this story, so he told of the memoirs.

Dumas didn't have to say anything at all, and everyone would still have loved his book.

Dumas could have really found this book, and never returned it to the library.

There could have been only one copy of this memoir: though unlikely, if it really existed.

The Count de La Fere could have been Athos: though unlikely.

Dumas could have been telling the truth, or HOAXING his readers.

No copy of this work has ever turned up.

Now, as far as this last statement is concerned (of which I have now stated twice - namely, that no one has ever found a copy of the memoirs) is not exactly true, according to two individuals, which brings us to our third author - Paul Feval the second.

Alexandre Dumas was a famous author who was very popular in his time, but so was Paul Feval. Paul Feval wrote many stories that are still famous today, yet not as well known. Just like Dumas, Feval had a son who was also a writer, and, just like Dumas, he named his son after him. So, just like Dumas and Feval were contemporaries with each other, so were their sons contemporaries with one another. However, it was not Dumas the second that decided to write some story sequels to his dad's works, but it was instead Paul Feval the second who wrote some sequels to the Musketeer epics. Called "The Years Between Series," Paul Feval gave the reading public a set of four books that filled in some of the blanks that Dumas left a short time before. For some unknown reason, Dumas, after writing the "Three Musketeers," which took place from 1625-1628, he did not write a sequel to his novel that would take place in 1629. Instead, the sequel was Twenty Years After - which he decided to name his new novel "Twenty Years After." For these are events that took place that length of time between his two novels in d'Artagnan's life. Why was this? Well, I believe in lied in the fact that Dumas was not trying to make a career in writing books about the life of d'Artagnan. Dumas was on a mission to write books on the "History" of France, in fictional form. Yet, despite the fact that Dumas was a fictional writer, he really wanted the public to believe that his stories were really accurate with history - which we know not to be true. As one person put it, Dumas wrote history the way that it should have been. So, in his telling of history of the seventeenth century, he chose d'Artagnan to be its hero, and gave it three parts, covering a good ground of the seventeenth century - from 1625 until 1673, from the time d'Artagnan, supposedly, entered Paris for the first time, until his death. He did this in, like I said, three books "The Three Musketeers," "Twenty Years After," and "The Vicomte de Bragalonne." This last book, quite big, is sometimes in English broken into three or four parts, with titles such as: "The Vicomte (or Viscount) de Bragalonne," "Ten Years Later (which is actually a sub-title of Vicomte)," "Louise de La Valliere," and "The Man in the Iron Mask."

I believe that the success of d'Artagnan was a complete surprise to Dumas, and fans craved more stories about him, yet Dumas did not want to stay with him, but to move on, so he could finish his history of France - through his own eyes! Just like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dumas killed d'Artagnan, just like the before mentioned author killed Sherlock Holmes, merely for the sake that the author tells the public that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! They want to go on! Dumas got by with it - Conan Doyle didn't. Conan Doyle had to bring Holmes back to life, for the sake of his fans; but Dumas, we can almost say - got by with murder! D'Artagnan remained dead . . . that is, until Paul Feval the second came along! He revived the character with a set of four books, claiming to be a series of books that take place between the time of "The Three Musketeers," and "Twenty Years After." He called the series "The Years Between Series." Yet they only took place between the years 1641 and 1642! They were subtitled: "D'Artagnan against Cyrano." And for the first time in ficticious history, these two Swashbuckling giants are brought together in a full length story - for they just merely met briefly in Edmond Rostand's famous play: "Cyrano de Bergerac."

Skip ahead to the Preface of The Three Musketeers!

 

Paul Feval the second's four book titles were: "The Mysterious Cavalier," "Martyr to the Queen," "The Secret of the Bastille," and "The Heir to Buckingham." They were a hit, yet not as big as Dumas' works. But by them being a hit may have relied upon what the authors had written in their preface. Feval had a writing partner, M. Lassez. The preface claims that Paul Feval, perhaps accompanied by this M. Lassez, actually went to the Library where Dumas claimed that he found the Memoirs of La Fere, and actually asked the Librarian for them - this being in the early 1920's, many years after Dumas retreived them in the early 1840's. The Libraian was SHOCKED that the request was made! But it was not there. The memoirs were no where to be found - they were checked out, but never returned! Dumas either never returned it, or someone else checked it out and never returned it - or perhaps it was stolen! Whatever the case, it wasn't there. Heartbroken, the authors gave up, until the met up with a decendant of Grimaud - Athos's servant! Up in the attic of this decendant of Grimaud, the authors found the missing copy of the Memoirs of de La Fere, and just like Dumas, the author's wished to merely re-publish what the count wrote down, as if they were taking dictation from him, just like, perhaps, Courtilz took dictation from what he read from d'Artagnan!

THE FACTS:

Paul Feval and his friend were writers of fiction, not history.

Grimaud has never been found in history.

Athos died in a duel in the early 1640's, in his early twenties, much too young to have written memoirs.

A Count de La Fere has never been found in history.

There would have been many people trying to find a copy of this memoir, one would have by now been found.

Paul Feval could have wrote this story just to try to get some good sales.

Paul Feval could have thought Dumas to be joking, and wanted in on the joke.

Paul Feval could have found these Memoirs.

This could be made up, or it could be true.

All this makes for a good, interesting mystery.

You be the judge . . . .

 

Skip ahead to the Preface to Feval's Years Between Series!

 

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PREFACE TO THE MEMOIRS OF D’ARTAGNAN

(1700)

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 these 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 hâve 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.

Remember, when purchasing the Memoirs of D'Artagnan, that there are three volumes. Please shop accordingly:

Memoirs of Monsieur D'artagnan, Now for the First Time Translated Into English, Volume 1Memoirs of Monsieur D'artagnan, Now for the First Time Translated Into EnglishMemoirs of Monsieur D'artagnan; Captain Lieutenant of the 1st Company of the King's Musketeers
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Memoirs of Monsieur D'artagnan (Volume 2); Captain Lieutenant of the 1st Company of the King's MusketeersMemoirs of Monsieur D'artagnan, Now for the First Time Translated Into English (Volume 1)Memoirs Of Monsieur D'Artagnan V1: The Cadet (1903)
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by Gatien Courtilz De Sandras
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MEMOIRS OF MONSIEUR D-ARTAGNAN, CAPTAIN-LIEUTENANT OF THE 1ST COMPANY OF THE KING'S MUSKETEERS (COMPLETE IN 3 VOLUMES)MEMOIRS OF MONSIEUR D'ARTAGNAN, CAPTAIN LIEUTENANT OF THE FIRST COMPANY OF THE KING'S MUSKETEERS -- part 2, THE LIEUTENANTMEMOIRS OF MONSIEUR D'ARTAGNAN, CAPTAIN-LIEUTENANT OF THE 1ST COMPANY OF THE KING'S MUSKETEERS: VOL. I - III.
MEMOIRS OF MONSIEUR D-ARTAGNAN, CAPTAIN-LIE...
by translated by Ralph Nevill Courtilz De Sandraz
MEMOIRS OF MONSIEUR D'ARTAGNAN, CAPTAIN LIE...
by Ralph Nevill

MEMOIRS OF MONSIEUR D'ARTAGNAN, CAPTAIN-LIE...
by Courtilz de (trans Ralph Nevill). Sandraz

Memoirs of Monsieur d"Artagnan, Captain Lieutenant of The 1st Company of The King"s MusketeersMemoirs of Monsieur d'Artagnan, Captain-Lieutenant of the 1st Company of the King's MusketeersMemoirs of Monsieur D'Artagnan : captain-Lieutenant of the First Company of the King's Musketeers
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by Monsieur d"Artagnan
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by Courtilz De Sandras

Memoirs of Monsieur D'Artagnan, Captain-Lieutenant of the 1st Company of the King's Musketeers Part I, II, III : The Cadet, The Lieutenant, The CaptainMEMOIRS OF MONSIEUR D'ARTAGNAN, CAPTAIN LIEUTENANT OF THE FIRST COMPANY OF THE KMemoirs of Monsieur d'Artignan
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by Courtilz; Nevill, Ralph (translator) De Sandraz
MEMOIRS OF MONSIEUR D'ARTAGNAN, CAPTAIN LIE...
by Ralph Nevill
Memoirs of Monsieur d'Artignan
by Gatien Courtilz de Sandras
Memoirs of Monsieur d'Artignan: Now for the first time translated into English,
Memoirs of Monsieur d'Artignan: Now for the...
by Gatien Courtilz de Sandras
 

 

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THE THREE MUSKETEERS AUTHOR'S PREFACE

1844 A.D.

by Alexandre Dumas

 

In which it is proved that, notwithstanding their names' ending in OS and IS, the heroes of the story which we are about to have the honor to relate to our readers have nothing mythological about them.

A short time ago, while making researches in the Royal Library for my History of Louis XIV, I stumbled by chance upon the Memoirs of M. d'Artagnan, printed--as were most of the works of that period, in which authors could not tell the truth without the risk of a residence, more or less long, in the Bastille--at Amsterdam, by Pierre Rouge. The title attracted me; I took them home with me, with the permission of the guardian, and devoured them.

It is not my intention here to enter into an analysis of this curious work; and I shall satisfy myself with referring such of my readers as appreciate the pictures of the period to its pages. They will therein find portraits penciled by the hand of a master; and although these squibs may be, for the most part, traced upon the doors of barracks and the walls of cabarets, they will not find the likenesses of Louis XIII,
Anne of Austria, Richelieu, Mazarin, and the courtiers of the period, less faithful than in the history of M. Anquetil.

But, it is well known, what strikes the capricious mind of the poet is not always what affects the mass of readers. Now, while admiring, as others doubtless will admire, the details we have to relate, our main preoccupation concerned a matter to which no one before ourselves had given a thought.

D'Artagnan relates that on his first visit to M. de Treville, captain of the king's Musketeers, he met in the antechamber three young men, serving in the illustrious corps into which he was soliciting the honor of being received, bearing the names of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

We must confess these three strange names struck us; and it immediately occurred to us that they were but pseudonyms, under which d'Artagnan had disguised names perhaps illustrious, or else that the bearers of these borrowed names had themselves chosen them on the day in which, from caprice, discontent, or want of fortune, they had donned the simple Musketeer's uniform.

From the moment we had no rest till we could find some trace in contemporary works of these extraordinary names which had so strongly awakened our curiosity.

The catalogue alone of the books we read with this object would fill a whole chapter, which, although it might be very instructive, would certainly afford our readers but little amusement. It will suffice, then, to tell them that at the moment at which, discouraged by so many fruitless investigations, we were about to abandon our search, we at length found, guided by the counsels of our illustrious friend Paulin
Paris, a manuscript in folio, endorsed 4772 or 4773, we do not recollect which, having for title, "Memoirs of the Comte de la Fere, Touching Some Events Which Passed in France Toward the End of the Reign of King Louis XIII and the Commencement of the Reign of King Louis XIV."

It may be easily imagined how great was our joy when, in turning over this manuscript, our last hope, we found at the twentieth page the name of Athos, at the twenty-seventh the name of Porthos, and at the thirty-first the name of Aramis.

The discovery of a completely unknown manuscript at a period in which historical science is carried to such a high degree appeared almost miraculous. We hastened, therefore, to obtain permission to print it, with the view of presenting ourselves someday with the pack of others at the doors of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, if we should not succeed--a very probable thing, by the by--in gaining
admission to the Academie Francaise with our own proper pack. This permission, we feel bound to say, was graciously granted; which compels us here to give a public contradiction to the slanderers who pretend that we live under a government but moderately indulgent to men of letters.

Now, this is the first part of this precious manuscript which we offer to our readers, restoring it to the title which belongs to it, and entering into an engagement that if (of which we have no doubt) this first part should obtain the success it merits, we will publish the second immediately.

In the meanwhile, as the godfather is a second father, we beg the reader to lay to our account, and not to that of the Comte de la Fere, the pleasure or the ENNUI he may experience.

This being understood, let us proceed with our history.

 

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The Years Between Series Preface

 

by Paul Feval, fils

 

 

An oversight on the part of Alexandre Dumas

 

Who does not remember the preface to The Three Musketeers? In it, the great Dumas tells how, after reading the Memoirs of M. d’Artagnan, he was struck by the “mythological” sound of the names, Athos, Aramis, and Porthos, and became curious to discover the real identity of these persons, so obviously disguised. His investigations would have been fruitless had not the learned Pauline Paris told him of the existence of a folio manuscript. It was numbered, he said, 4772 of 4773, and was entitled: Memoirs of the Comte de la Fere, concerning certain events that happened in France toward the end of the reign of Louis XIII and the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV. It was the first part of this precious manuscript that the novelist announced he was offering to his readers; he promised, it will be remembered, to publish the second if the first was well received.

 

Dumas boasted freely that he sometimes changed the original, but never without improving on it. This modest disavowal of authorship has always been received with a good deal of skepticism. Furthermore, a surprising gap between the stories started us thinking. Here M. Lassez and I wish to recall to all faithful readers of the works of the great novelist something that must have often occurred to them: Why did Dumas have an interval of twenty years between The Three Musketeers and its sequels? Why is it that the preface does not enlighten us on this point? Must we admit that the heroes of these novels slept from 1628-1648 without performing a single noteworthy deed, and that at a time when they still enjoyed the vigor of youth? Did Athos suffer a complete loss of memory concerning a twenty year period in the lives of his inseparable companions? This last hypothesis is not tenable since, as we have seen, the manuscript states that the events chronicled took place “toward the end of the reign of Louis XIII”- who died in 1643, sixteen years after the end of The Three Musketeers.

 

No, this troubled period, fertile in romantic incidents, could not have been the time that our noble young friends chose to hang their trusty swords on a nail! These years saw the end of the Great Cardinal, and the obscure beginnings of the fortunes of Glulio Mazarini; the death of Louis the just, and the new loves of the Queen.

 

This enigmatic silence, we felt, must hide some mystery forgotten or disregarded by our illustrious predecessor- an entire novel, perhaps , based upon The Memoirs of the Comte de la Fere. Spurred on by this dream of a lost masterpiece buried, like a diamond, in the silent dust of the department of manuscripts in the Bibliotheque Nationale, we ventured one day to awaken the famous folios from their long sleep.

 

“Number 4772 and 4773!” exclaimed the old librarian. “Ah, this is the first time….since the theft…”

 

“What theft?”

 

The good man turned a deaf ear to us.

 

A few moments later we were able to verify the fact that the first manuscript stopped with the year 1628- as did The Three Musketeers; and that the second volume began in 1648- twenty years after!

 

“Ah!” remarked the librarian, noticing our obvious perplexity. “I’m told that in April, 1848, following the February uprisings, M. Dumas returned here with several friends to consult the third folio…”

 

“Then there was a third folio?”

 

“Of course, 4772A. It was in different writing than these two before you. But M. Dumas made a fatal mistake in overlooking this volume on his former visits. He could not find it again. The troops who camped here on the night of February 24 must have taken it away with them”

 

The following summer, on a walking trip through Vendee, we stopped at Caillere at the home of the hospitable squire Nermoveaux.

 

“Why don’t you spend the summer in this district?” he suggested.

 

“If only there were a place that we might rent!”

 

At that moment a prosperous looking landowner came up and shook the squire’s hand.

 

“Parbleu!” cried the latter, “here’s your chance. Rent Grimaud’s little chateau.”

 

Grimaud! What a train of memories this name called up. Now that we had been forced to leave the musketeers to their sleep of twenty years, it seemed an unkind fate that reminded us of our vanished hopes. Amused by our silence, the cause of which he seemed to guess, the squire sad quietly:

 

“You two who are writers must certainly have read Dumas’ The Three Musketeers?.... Yes, of course. Well, this Grimaud is a direct descendant of the quiet servant of Athos. He has some interesting old documents in his house. In rainy weather it might amuse you to look them over.”

 

Turning to the newcomer, we ventured to ask”

 

“You don’t possibly have 4772A?”

 

The quiet man suddenly became voluble:

 

“Yes, I have it! Written in the hand of my ancestor. My father recovered it in 1848.”

 

“Recovered it? What do you mean?

 

“It’s a long story! It seems that before dying, Monsieur le Comte called my ancestor to him and said: ‘Grimaud, you have written to much from my dictation. You must destroy the manuscript that explains the mystery of the garden of Amiens. The Queens name must not be sullied!’ ”

 

“And you have this manuscript?”

 

“Yes, indeed. It’s most fascinating.”

 

That evening we were settled in Grimaud’s chateau. To think that through this unexpected coincidence we were now reading the authentic narrative of those fascinating years!

 

The manuscript consisted of an outline of a story told to his master by the youngest of the musketeers: “concerning certain secret adventures and mysterious relations between M. d’Artagnan and M. Cyrano de Bergerac.”

 

Less fortunate than Dumas, we cannot claim to have given more than a transcription of Grimaud’s narrative. There is a great difference between the eloquent memoirs of a gentleman and the summary account of a servant. Nevertheless, we hope that the reader will be able to live again with those immortal heroes: d’Artagnan and Cyrano.

 

Paul Feval. 

 

The Years Between Series:

 

 

Volume 1 - The Mysterious Cavalier

 

The Mysterious Cavalier

The Mysterious Cavalier
by Paul Feval

 

 

Volume 2 - Martyr to the Queen 

 

MARTYR TO THE QUEEN

MARTYR TO THE QUEEN
by Paul and Lassez, M. Feval

 

 

 

Volume 3 - The Secret of the Bastille

 

The Secret Of The Bastille, (his The Years Between; Adventures Of D'artagnan And Cyrano De Bergerac Iii)

The Secret Of The Bastille, (his The Years ...
by Paul Feval

 

 

 

Volume 4 - Heir of Buckingham

 

The Heir Of Buckingham

The Heir Of Buckingham
by Paul Feval

 

 

 

In French: 

 

D'artagnan contre cyrano

D'artagnan contre cyrano
by Paul Feval

 

 

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 NEW MUSKETEER NOVEL NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY!

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

 AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FROM VARIOUS ONLINE BOOKSTORES, INCLUDING Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million & GoHastings.com

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Product Details (From Amazon.com)

  • 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

 

READ WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT DONAREE:

"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. www.davidleesummers.com

"Very exciting read! Felt like I was there witnessing the action!" ~ Candle Artist Jfay,
www.studio3bonline.com

"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,
www.myspace.com/nicolemarques

"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."
www.genelladegrey.com

"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..." ~
Ferf