World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later

Article Id: WHEBN0000310625
Reproduction Date:

Title: The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later

The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later
Author Alexandre Dumas
in collaboration with Auguste Maquet
Original title Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard
Country France
Language Translated from French
Genre Historical, Romantic
Publication date
French, Serialized 1847–1850

The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later (French: Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard ) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas. It is the third and last of the d'Artagnan Romances, following The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After. It appeared first in serial form between 1847 and 1850. In the English translations, the 268 chapters of this large volume are usually subdivided into three, but sometimes four or even five individual books. In three-volume English editions the volumes are entitled The Vicomte de Bragelonne, Louise de la Vallière, and The Man in the Iron Mask. Each volume is roughly the length of the original The Three Musketeers. In four-volume editions volume names remain except that Louise de la Vallière and The Man in the Iron Mask move from second and third volumes to third and fourth, with Ten Years Later becoming the second volume. There are usually no volume-specific names in five-volume editions.


  • Plot 1
    • Part One: The Vicomte of Bragelonne (Chapters 1–93) 1.1
    • Part Two: Louise de la Vallière (Chapters 94–180) 1.2
    • Part Three: The Man in the Iron Mask (Chapters 181–269) 1.3
  • Analysis 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • External links 5


The principal heroes of the novel are the musketeers. The novel's length finds it frequently broken into smaller parts. The narrative is set between 1660 and 1667 against the background of the transformation of Louis XIV from child monarch to Sun King.

Part One: The Vicomte of Bragelonne (Chapters 1–93)

After 35 years of loyal service, d'Artagnan resigns as lieutenant of the Musketeers as he perceives the young king Louis XIV as weak-willed. He resolves to aid the exiled Charles II to retake the throne of England, unaware that Athos is attempting the same. With their assistance Charles II is restored to the throne and d'Artagnan is rewarded richly.

In France, Cardinal Mazarin has died, leaving Louis to assume power with Jean-Baptiste Colbert as his finance minister. Colbert has an intense hatred for the king's Superintendent of Finances, Nicolas Fouquet, and tries to bring about his fall. He brings to the king's attention that Fouquet is fortifying Belle Île, and might be using it as a base for a military operation against the king. Louis persuades d'Artagnan to re-enter his service, and tasks him to investigate Belle Île, promising him a substantial salary and promotion to Captain of the King's Musketeers on his return. Louis, finally growing into a decisive ruler, also accepts an offer relayed by Athos from Charles II to marry his brother Philippe I, Duke of Orléans to Charles' sister Henrietta Anne Stuart.

D'Artagnan discovers Belle Île is being fortified and the engineer ostensibly in charge is Porthos, though the blueprints show Aramis' handwriting. Aramis, suspicious of d'Artagnan, sends Porthos back to Paris to warn Fouquet, whilst tricking d'Artagnan into searching for Porthos around Vannes. Porthos warns Fouquet in the nick of time, and he cedes Belle Île to the king, humiliating Colbert. On returning from the mission, d'Artagnan is made Captain of the King's Musketeers.

Meanwhile, Princess Henrietta arrives in France escorted by the second Duke of Buckingham, to be met by an embassy consisting of Raoul de Bragelonne, his close friend Armand de Gramont, Comte de Guiche, and the Comte de Wardes, son of the previous Comte de Wardes from The Three Musketeers. The erratic Buckingham is madly in love with the princess and can scarcely conceal it, while Guiche soon finds himself equally smitten. Philippe, though little attracted to women, becomes horribly jealous of Buckingham and has him exiled after the wedding.

Part Two: Louise de la Vallière (Chapters 94–180)

This part mostly concerns romantic events at the court of Louis XIV. Raoul de Bragelonne finds his childhood sweetheart, Louise de la Vallière, is maid of honor to the Princess. Fearing a tarnishing of Louise's reputation by affairs at court, Raoul seeks to marry her. His father, Athos, the Comte de la Fère, disapproves, but eventually, out of love for his son, reluctantly agrees. The king, however, refuses to sanction the marriage because Louise is of inferior social status, and so marriage is delayed until Louise has earned her fortune and Raoul grows in prestige.

Meanwhile, the struggle for power continues between Fouquet and Colbert. Louis attempts to impoverish Fouquet by asking for money to pay for a grand fête at Fontainebleau. Meanwhile, Aramis meets the governor of the Bastille M. de Baisemeaux, and learns of a secret prisoner who bears a striking resemblance to Louis XIV. Aramis uses this secret to persuade the dying general of the Jesuits to name him his successor.

After Buckingham leaves France, the Comte de Guiche grows besotted with Henrietta, as soon does Louis XIV. The Queen Mother, Man in the Iron Mask is the twin brother of Louis XIV, Philippe, who had been concealed and imprisoned from birth by his father, Louis XIII, and his mother, Anne of Austria, "for the good of France". Only a very few people living at the start of the novel know of Philippe's existence; these include his mother, Anne, and her former confidante, the Duchesse de Chevreuse. Chevreuse has let the secret slip to Aramis, the Bishop of Vanne and her former lover.

Aramis plots to replace Louis with Philippe as a puppet ruler for himself and Fouquet, and recruits Porthos to assist, although Porthos is unaware of the true nature of the plot. Aramis's ambitions now know no bounds and he intends to become nothing less than the next Pope.

Through an elaborate subterfuge mounted by Aramis, Philippe replaces a prisoner due for release from the Bastille and escapes to Vaux. Meanwhile, Fouquet is throwing a lavish party for Louis at Vaux. Colbert poisons the king further against Fouquet. While the king is still visiting Fouquet at Vaux, Aramis initiates the second half of his plan and kidnaps Louis with the assistance of Porthos, imprisoning Louis in the Bastille in Philippe's place. He then substitutes Philippe for the King.

Aramis conspiratorially informs Fouquet of his acts, but Fouquet wants no part in such treachery and rushes to the Bastille, rescues Louis, and brings him back to Vaux to confront Philippe. Realizing that his plot has unravelled, Aramis flees for Belle Île to escape the king's impending wrath, taking Porthos with him. Louis regains the throne with d'Artagnan's help, ending Philippe's brief reign. Louis banishes Philippe, ordering that "he will cover his face with an iron visor" which he "cannot raise without peril of his life."

Athos and Raoul meet Aramis and Porthos who relate their predicament before receiving horses to aid their journey to Belle Île. But they are followed by the Duc de Beaufort, on his way to Algiers for an Action of March 1665 expedition against the Barbary corsairs. Raoul, devastated by the king's love affair with Louise, volunteers to join the Duc in his expedition. Soon Raoul is off to war in North Africa, and Athos is retired. The Duke goes on to win the battle, sinking forty-six Algerine vessels.

Despite Fouquet's rescue, Louis orders d'Artagnan to arrest Fouquet, which he manages following an epic chase. Louis then orders d'Artagnan to arrest Porthos and Aramis. D'Artagnan feigns compliance whilst secretly giving his friends time to escape. However, Colbert discerns d'Artagnan's sympathies and undermines him. D'Artagnan resigns on learning that prisoners are to be executed immediately once arrested.

Attempting an escape from Belle Île, Porthos is killed, while Aramis escapes to sea, remorseful for the first time in his life. Meanwhile, Athos returns to his estates and lapses into decline. On hearing that Raoul has died in action at Gigelli, Athos succumbs to grief and dies. Meanwhile, the detained d'Artagnan is freed by King Louis and reinstated. He learns of Porthos' death and Aramis' escape.

Thanks to the power of the Jesuits, which he now commands, Aramis reaches Spain and becomes her ambassador to France. Louise de la Vallière is eventually supplanted in the king's affections by her erstwhile friend Madame de Montespan. Louis grows in power and stature and embarks on a military campaign against the United Provinces, with d'Artagnan commanding the offensive. D'Artagnan is killed in battle moments after reading he is to be made Marshal of France. His final words: "Athos, Porthos, au revoir! Aramis, adieu forever!"


French academic Jean-Yves Tadié has argued that the beginning of King Louis XIV's personal rule is the novel's real subject.[1]

See also


  1. ^

External links

  • The Vicomte de BragelonneeLook Literature: – HTML version broken down chapter by chapter.
  • The Vicomte De Bragelonne at Project Gutenberg
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.