In January, I re-explored the stories of the duc de Lauzun and “The Man in the Iron Mask” for a short, easy-to-read Good Reads novel I intended to write.
I love this stage of writing historical fiction: reading the historical accounts, imagining scenes, puzzling out a story arc. I love, especially, discovering the telling detail about characters: the short, socially-ambitious braggart of a jailor Saint-Mars who told false and fantastical stories of his exploits. (A Don Quixote?) A man who most likely created The Man in the Iron Mask as a publicity stunt in order to get a promotion.
However, there was a secret that the Mask knew and was forced never to reveal. That’s the puzzle!
Now, I’m sad to say, I’ve withdrawn from this delicious project. I’ve two other novels to write (including a Young Adult novel about Josephine’s daughter Hortense), and I must be realistic about how much I can do at once. I’m packaging up these books and notes on Lauzun and the Man in the Iron Mask: until later. There is a wonderful story here, but it will have to wait.
Until then, be forewarned that this “17th-century” research blog will be creeping from time-to-time into the 18th-century Napoleonic world. It’s like returning home after a long voyage to an exotic land (the Court of the Sun King). My bags are packed: I’ll be travelling back and forth, back and forth!