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The Vicomte de Bragelonne
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The last and longest of Dumas’ three d’Artagnan novels, The Vicomte de Bragelonne finds the four musketeers, Aramis, Athos, Porthos, and d’Artagnan, in their later years, and for the first time keeping secrets that are not to be shared with each other.
Louis XIV is now an adult, and the regency of his mother is at an end. D’Artagnan is still his Lieutenant of Musketeers, Athos has raised his son Raoul (the Vicomte de Bragelonne of the title) to adulthood, and Aramis and Porthos are engaged in a mystery that is not touched on until well into the novel. There are adventures involving Charles II of England, the son of the doomed king the musketeers could not save from Cromwell in Twenty Years After, romances of Louis’ early court, intrigues involving Louis’ finance ministers, and, ultimately, Dumas’ fictional explanation of a centuries-long mystery involving an unidentified prisoner in the Bastille.
The original French serialization of The Vicomte de Bragelonne took three years because of the size of the work. English translations were typically divided into three, four, or occasionally as many as six parts; in the three-volume editions, each volume had as many words as The Three Musketeers. This edition is presented in a single ebook.
The Vicomte de Bragelonne brings a satisfying conclusion to one of the greatest adventure series of all time. Like The Three Musketeers, the final part of The Vicomte de Bragelonne, “The Man in the Iron Mask,” has been adapted many times for stage, film, television, and animation.
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