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The Man in the Iron Mask

(The d'Artagnan Romances #3.4)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  63,435 ratings  ·  898 reviews
A swashbuckling novel of political intrigue.

In the concluding installment of Alexandre Dumas's celebrated cycle of the Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan remains in the service of the corrupt King Louis XIV after the Three Musketeers have retired and gone their separate ways. Unbeknownst to D'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos plot to remove the inept king and place the king's twin brother o
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 470 pages
Published August 28th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 1850)
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Brianna Highly recommended. Personally, I would have been very lost if I had tried to read this book without reading the others (The Three Musketeers, Twenty…moreHighly recommended. Personally, I would have been very lost if I had tried to read this book without reading the others (The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, Le Vicomte de Bragelonne, Louise de la Valliere) first. (less)
Krystal In the 3-volume version, TMITIM starts with the chapter entitled, 'Two Old Friends'.

In the 4-volume edition, this is still part of the preceding…more
In the 3-volume version, TMITIM starts with the chapter entitled, 'Two Old Friends'.

In the 4-volume edition, this is still part of the preceding story, Louise de la Valliere. TMITIM begins with the chapter entitled 'The Prisoner'.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Homme au masque de fer = The man in the Iron mask, Alexandre Dumas
The Man in the Iron Mask, is the name given to an unidentified prisoner who was arrested in 1669 or 1670 and subsequently held in a number of French prisons, including the Bastille and the Fortress of Pignerol. He was held in the custody of the same jailer, Bénigne Dauvergne de Saint-Mars, for a period of 34 years. He died on 19 November 1703 under the name "Marchioly", during the reign of King Louis XIV of France (1643–1715
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Parbleu! Morbleu! Corboeuf! Ma foi! Mordioux! Not to mention Cordieu! (I think they are variations of OMG).

I usually prefer to know as little as possible about the book I am about to read, including avoid reading the synopsis, or if I have read the synopsis in order to decide whether to read the book I try to forget it (and do very well in the forgetting department, there is a character in this book called M. Fouquet, a name I would like to adopt for future social media shenanigans). Anyway, sometimes
Bridgette Redman
Feb 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
It pains me to write this because I am, at heart, a print person. My paycheck depends on people wanting and buying printed materials. But this is one instance where the movie far outshines the book and I'm glad there was a screenwriter with a vision to see beyond this dismal book.

I had just read Three Musketeers by Dumas when I read this book. Perhaps it was the pleasure I took in this early book that spoiled Man in the Iron Mask.

Man in the Iron Mask starts out well. Ther
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the most surprising thing about The Man in the Iron Mask, to me, was just how quickly the title subplot was dealt with. Then again, this was not originally called The Man in the Iron Mask. This is the last chunk in a larger book. I can see why it gets cut up like that. This part alone was over 400 pages. And the introduction gave a coherent enough synopsis of what came before that I could follow. Maybe I should have read it all, since I do like reading Dumas the elder.

Back in
My insignificant words can hardly do justice to my love for this book, so I'll keep it short.

You can read my original review here.

If you are curious about this book because you're familiar with the title, or saw the (terrible) movie, or have read The Three Musketeers and can't be bothered with everything that comes in between, please don't bother with this book. You've hardly earned it, and as such it'll ring hollow for you.

If, however, you have loyally followed our musketeer friend/>You
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was not as bad as you would have expected it to be.
I was reluctant to read this due to the ubiquity of the Musketeers and because for whatever reason i had assumed Dumas to be a high-brow difficult author. Boy was i wrong, this had such an easy almost pulpy tone to it, perhaps a tad hard to parse during some dialogue but overall very smooth and a nice style.
I was in, the first 20% was 5-stars even with some interruptions to worldbuild, but then after a climax it suddenly switches characters. Which it will continue to do throughout the nove
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Edited and annotated by David Coward, from an older translation. Well, the mammoth saga of the once-invincibles comes to a rather sad end. Porthos dies because his strength gives out. Aramis flees France in disgrace because his schemes come to ruin. And Athos dies because the one thing dearer to him to God, his son, leaves his company to go die in the Africa campaigns under the Duke of Beaufort. And d’Artagnan – well, d’Artagnan’s star does not decline under the sun king, but that’s only because ...more
Apr 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
I wish I could give this three stars, but this book truly was "just okay." The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After must be read before this book, otherwise you will be very confused. I'm surprised that The Man in the Iron Mask is more famous than Twenty Years After (although neither are good stand-alone novels; they really require reading the previous novels first) because I found TYA to be much more humorous, more exciting, and more engaging all around. The only thing I liked more about TMitIM is that the particul ...more
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
Magnificent, incredible, et cetera. I can't overstate how much I loved this story. I think Dumas is among the most entertaining of the classical writers. A huge cast of character and an epic story full of love, hate, friendship, betrayal, politics and actions. A favorite of mine.
I didn't know how to review this book and just started writing randomly until some thoughts about the book illuminated me and I could write some a proper rant about this book review.

So, here it is.

First, I never really figured out it was part of a series "The D'Artagnan Romances", so when I found this book free for being public domain I couldn't stop myself and got it immediately. I was really excited to start this book. I don't really remember the movie but I remember I liked it, that's why I thought/>So,
John (Taloni) Taloni
Curiously unengaging. The "Man in the Iron Mask" is dispensed with in the first half of the book. I read the other D'Artagnan Romances following Three Musketeers so that I could approach this book fully informed. I expected a juggernaut. Well, Count of Monte Cristo delivered on its promise, but this book did not. The action largely trails off unsatisfactorily. Porthos is presented for comedy except for a moment of tragedy. The action is largely French against French. Louis XIV seems to be a comp ...more
Fred Klein
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FINALLY!!!! The D'Artagnan series ends with a great novel. The other entries since
"The Three Musketeers" were unbalanced: too much political intrigue or too much romance (the latter applies especially to "Louise de Valliere") and -- worst of all -- the disappearance of the Musketeers for hundreds of pages. "The Man In The Iron Mask" strikes a perfect balance. It's all there: the intrigue, the romance, the swashbuckling. And the Musketeers are all back as main characters, not as side characters
aPriL does feral sometimes
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary
Everyone in the book lives behind an iron mask-built of honor first and foremost. Honor is first before riches or political place or family or work. I am torn. As much as I am in love with the Musketeers I cannot accept the code of honor they live by. Because they adhere so religiously to their honor code they are led into life threatening and adventurous episodes which entertain in reading but left me mystified by the underlying dismal outcomes in most cases. The characters who followed the fas ...more
4.5★ Having finally read the entire series, I found that I liked this final section even more. Some sections that I previously thought a bit dull or unrelated I now realize where the continuation or wrapping up of things that had happened previously. Several of the relationships, such as that between Raoul & Louise, are not at all clear if you read this as a stand-alone but make perfect sense having read the previous parts of "Vicomte de Bragelonne; or Ten Years Later". However the book is still ...more
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maricarmen Estrada M
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After all the adventures of D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, it's impossible not to fall in love with these characters. Their friendship, courage, loyalty, fidelity, and honor are the thread that conducts all the deeds, intrigues and adventures they go through.
In The Man in the Iron Mask we set out on the last journey for the four musketeers.
Timothy Boyd
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
The last of the Three musketeers stories. This is my least favorite of the 3 books written by Dumas. The writing, as in the other 2, is dated and in places drags. Overall the story didn't seem as fast paced as the other books. Recommended
Minatsuki Saya
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brent Ranalli
"Disappointed" would be too strong a word: I enjoyed this last installment of the D'Artagnan romances. But I found it less compelling than expected, less compelling than, for example, much-maligned book 3.2 (LdLV), which brilliantly ramps up the tension of court intrigue and then explodes. Why is 3.3 not so compelling?

1. Bragelonne's love-sickness to death stops being pitiable and merely becomes pathetic. He should have done like his father and taken to drink.

2. Fouquet is se
Abigail Hartman
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I came to The Man in the Iron Mask with no more experience with Dumas than what The Count of Monte Cristo could give me - that is to say, with no experience at all with the three musketeers. Naturally, this left me rather confused in the early days of this last D'Artagnan romance: I knew the history of "the squirrel" (which constitutes a massive spoiler, but what are you to do when writing a historical novel?), but none of the intrigues that the characters would keep referring to. In fact this may be a good th ...more
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it
As I advance on my quest to read all the books I have obtained over the years, I have come to this.My copy of this book most likely came from a thrift store or flea market and cost almost nothing. I may well have had this in my possession for over 20 years; who knows.

From what I've read, this is the final book of Dumas's Three Musketeers saga. There's a reason why the Three Musketeers have had such staying power.

Wow. Dumas was a quite a writer. The plots and intrigues, mostly advanc
Elsa K
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Other than the original "Three Musketeers" this is probably my favorite in the series. It only took me 8 or 9 years to read the whole series, finally! I liked it so much due to the main characters being our good ol' favorites of the four musketeers. Almost every page starring D'Artagnan was a good one! He continues to prove he is "the man" even in his old age. I also loved seeing Porthos in all his glory. One of the hardest parts for me was seeing Athos as such an old man totally dependent on hi ...more
Gary Dolman
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I tried to read this book as a child, but got nowhere with it, probably because it concludes a narrative thread that runs through a series of earlier novels, with numerous references to and dependencies on those. The edition I read this time (Wordsworth) had enough notes and explanations to resolve any difficulties and, (hurrah!), I finished it.

I have to say that, although the concept is superb, I didn't enjoy it as much as, say, The Three Musketeers; the pace was more laboured and t
Since I seem to be giving up books at the moment. I probably will come back to this at some point, but the friend I've been reading it with agrees that the Frenchmen are not sassy enough for our readalong, and the whole thing lacks the charm of Musketeers, so we are swapping it out for the Scarlet Pimpernel as soon as either of us can get our hands on a copy. Decent book, but not fit for current purpose.
Reading is my Escape
The Man in the Iron Mask  
Wow. This book is nothing like the movie, at least the one I watched with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jeremy Irons. The end was so tragic and the actual prisoner in the iron mask was such a small part of the story. Seems to me it was the complete opposite in the movie. Huh. Go figure.
I'm glad I finally read this.
Joya Cousin
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Excellent story, but I was a bit disappointed that the Hollywood version is only loosely based on this book. The man in the iron mask turns out to be a side plot, and not the centerpiece of this final Musketeers novel.
Γιώργος Μανι
Sep 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
what the f did I just read?
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
This is odd really, because until I started it I hadn't realised that it is just the last quarter of a much longer book Le Vicomte de Bragelonne. As such The Man In The Iron Mask contains a lot of plot points that require explanation, characters that have already been established, and other things we are supposed to have already read about. By coincidence I had seen the last part of the TV drama Versailles last year which touched on some of the story of this book and some of the real characters ...more
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This note regards Alexandre Dumas, père, the father of Alexandre Dumas, fils (son). For the son, see Alexandre Dumas fils.

Alexandre Dumas, père (French for "father", akin to Senior in English), born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. Many of hi

Other books in the series

The d'Artagnan Romances (7 books)
  • The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1)
  • The Red Sphinx: A Sequel to The Three Musketeers
  • Twenty Years After (The D'Artagnan Romances #2)
  • The Vicomte de Bragelonne (The D'Artagnan Romances, #3.1)
  • Ten Years Later (The D'Artagnan Romances, #3.2)
  • Louise de La Vallière (The D'Artagnan Romances, #3.3)
“I am strong against everything, except against the death of those I love. He who dies gains; he who sees others die loses.” 102 likes
“Does the open wound in another's breast soften the pain of the gaping wound in our own? Or does the blood which is welling from another man's side staunch that which is pouring from our own? Does the general anguish of our fellow creatures lessen our own private and particular anguish? No, no, each suffers on his own account, each struggles with his own grief, each sheds his own tears.” 38 likes
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