L'homme au Masque de Fer

From ESAT
(Redirected from The Man with the Iron Mask)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

L'homme au Masque de Fer ("The Man in the Iron Mask") refers to a true story about a prisoner in France, as well as various fictional versions of the tale, including plays and films.

The original story

The intriguing true story of an unidentified prisoner who was held in a number of French prisons for a 34 years, from his arrest in 1668/9 to his death in 1703[] became the focus a number serious studies over the years, as well as the inspiratiuon for a number fictional versions of the tale.

Two of the most celebrated and influential fictional versions of the tale are "The Prison", a long poem by Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863) which describes the final events in the life of the unknown prisoner(and was published in 1821), and part three of the novel Le Vicomte de Bragelonne (1847) by Alexander Dumas ()[], which involves the three musketeers in the intrigue.

For more on the tale of the prisoner and its cultural influence, see "The Man in the Iron Mask" in Wikipedia for example.[1]

Dramatized versions of the tale

There have been many, Allardyce Nicoll (1959, p. 312[2]) for example lists at least five English versions between 1832 and 1899, and other sources have additional titles.

Die Eiserne Larve by Heinrich Szchokke (1808)

Possibly the earliest dramatized version seems to have been a German version of the basic tale, simply called Die Eiserne Larve ("The iron mask"), a play in five acts written by Heinrich Szchokke (1771-1848)[3] in 1803. Published in Augsburg by C.F. Bürglen in 1804.

L'homme au Masque de Fer by Fournier and Arnoult (1831)

L'homme au Masque de Fer ("The man in the iron mask"), a drama in 5 acts and in prose, by Narcisse Fournier (1803–1880) [4] and Auguste Arnouldt (1803–1854)[5]. It was first performed at the Théatre Royal de l'Odéon in Paris on 3 August, 1831 and published by J.N. Barba in the same year.

The play was probably inspired by Szchokke's play and/or De Vigny's poem "The Prison" (1821). The play in turn may have been the (part of) the inspiration for Alexandre Dumas's novel.

The Man with the Iron Mask, or The Royal Twins by W.J. Lucas (1832)

A play called The Man with the Iron Mask, or The Royal Twins, was an English adaptation of the French version of Fournier and Arnoult, nd was first performed in English at the Royal Pavilion Theatre, London, on 30 January, 1832, with the title The Man with the Iron Mask, or The Royal Twins (no author named). Performed at the Bowery Theatre, New York 22 Fevbryuurary 1858

When the text was published by T.H. Lacy as The Man with the Iron Mask: in Four Epochs in 1850 (and as French's standard drama no. 230, by Samuel French, 1860), it was ascribed to W.J. Lucas ()[] and carried the description: "Each epoch containing a distinct and thrilling phase in this most extraordinary man's life, until his murder in the Bastile [sic], sternly corroborated by facts and documents seized during its demolition by the infuriated people."

The translation is also simply referred to as The Man with the Iron Mask (or in some cases The Man in the Iron Mask, e.g. By Allardyce Nicoll).

The Man in the Iron Mask by T.J. Serle (1832)

Desribed as an"Historical Play in Five Acts" by Thomas James Serle (1798-1889)[6], it was first performed at the Royal Coburg Theatre, London, in 1832.

Published as The Man in the Iron Mask in Dick's Standard Plays, number 1030 (ca. 1870?).

The Man in the Iron Mask by an anonymous author (1860)

The Man in the Iron Mask by Max Goldberg (1899)

Based on the Dumas novel, the play is attributed to Max Goldberg (pen name of John Preston (1862-1947)[7]) and was first performed at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 11 March 1899, with Norman Forbes-Robertson (1858-1932)[8] as Louis XIV.

Wearing suggests that this play was later adapted and renamed The Prisoner of the Bastille, possibly by Forbes, and first performed in the Lyceum Theatre, London, on 13 May 1909, with Matheson Lang as Louis XIV.

The Man in the Iron Mask by Perth and Condie (1899)

First performed at the Grand Theatre, Walsall, on 17 April, 1899.

The Prisoner of the Bastille , possibly by Norman Forbes (1909)

Wearing (2013, p. 467) suggests that this was possibly an adaptation by Norman Forbes (Norman Forbes-Robertson, 1858-1932)[9] of the earlier play, The Man in the Iron Mask, attributed to Max Goldberg and performed as apart of a season by Norman Forbes in the Lyceum Theatre in 1899. First performed as The Prisoner of the Bastille in the Lyceum Theatre, London, on 13 May 1909, with Matheson Lang as Louis XIV.

The Man with the Iron Mask by Frank J Morlock (2001)

Another English translation of the of Fournier and Arnoult play was done by Frank J Morlock ()[]. and published in Natick, MA by Rogue Publishers in 2001.

Performance history of plays by this name in South Africa

1877: Performed as The Man with the Iron Mask (and ascribed to Lucas) in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck's company on 15 December, with Black-Eyed Susan (Jerrold), and a ballad sung by Miss Wynne.

1877: Performed as The Man with the Iron Mask (and ascribed to Lucas) in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck's company on 18 December, with The Chimney Corner (Craven), and a ballad sung by Miss Wynne.

1904: Performed as The Man in the Iron Mask (and ascribed to Goldberg), by Leonard Rayne's company, inter alia in the Opera House, Cape Town, as part of a short season of plays there.

Sources

Facsimile version of the German text of Die Eiserne Larve, Google E-book[10]

Facsimile version of the French text of 1831, Google E-book[11]

Facsimile version of the French text by Barba of 1831, Google E-book[12]

Facsimile version of the English text by Lucas of 1832, Hathi Trust Digital Library[13]

Facsimile version of the English text by Serle of 1832, Hathi Trust Digital Library[14]

http://data.bnf.fr/39499252/l_homme_au_masque_de_fer_spectacle_1831/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auguste_Arnould

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcisse_Fournier

http://www.elta-project.org/browse.html?recordId=1204

https://catalog.princeton.edu/catalog/6855625

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Serle%2C%20Thomas%20James%2C%201798-1889

Transcript version of the Thomas Hailes Lacy text, The Victorian Plays Project[15]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_in_the_Iron_Mask

https://nikigukirozedaga.libraryonding.com/man-with-the-iron-mask-book-2696wb.php

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.

William Groom. 1899-1900. Drama in Cape Town. Cape Illustrated Magazine, 10(4): 478-481, 517-520, 547-552, 580-584, 640-643, 670-672, 706-708.

Allardyce Nicoll. 1959 History of English Drama 1660-1900 (vol.4). Cambridge University Press.

J.P. Wearing. 2013. The London Stage 1890-1899: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. (Second, revised edition, p. 467). Scarecrow Press, Google E-book[16]

Go to to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page