L'homme au Masque de Fer

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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. One of the most celebrated and influential fictional versions of the tale is the novel Le Vicomte de Bragelonne (1847) by Alexander Dumas ()[], which in turn led to various dramatizations of the tale for stage3 and film. (See "The Man in the Iron Mask" in Wikipedia for example.[1])

Dramatized versions of the tale

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

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) [2] and Auguste Arnouldt (1803–1854)[3] was based on the Dumas prose version.

The Man with the Iron Mask: in Four Epochs by W.J. Lucas (1832)

Adapted from the French version of Fournier and Arnoult, the English play by W.J. Lucas, 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). Published by T.H. Lacy as The Man with the Iron Mask: in Four Epochs in 1850 (and Samuel French, 1864), now now ascribed to Lucas and containing 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 often referred to simply as The Man with the Iron Mask. Also found as The Man in the Iron Mask

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

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.

Die Eiserne Larve by Heinrich Szchokke (1808)

A German version of the basic tale, Die Eiserne Larve ("The iron mask"), was written by Heinrich Szchokke (1771-1848)[4] in 1808.

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).


Facsimile version of the French text of 1831, Google E-book[5]

Facsimile version of the French text by Barba of 1831, Google E-book[6]





Transcript version of the Thomas Hailes Lacy text, The Victorian Plays Project[7]



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.

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