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Popular Culture clashes with Culture Wars – The Three Musketeers, Historical References, and What It Means

by on September 8, 2020

This is a story about history and fiction inspired by the excellent novel The Three Musketeers. I happen to have acquired a 1906 copy as a family heirloom – the first several pages were very delicate hard to turn! – that I had rebound. Of course, it doesn’t vary from any other Three Musketeers except for excellent translation of the prose.

The story itself is inspiring. The historical references, for anyone interested in history (all of, I hope) makes the story even more exciting.

I don’t merely refer to Cardinal Richelieu and his spat with the Duke of Buckingham. Nor merely to Ann of Austria and her relationship with the the Duke of Buckingham (maybe it was the other way around) and her relations with Richelieu, and her lack of relationship with her husband, Louis XIII.

Luis XIII, rey de Francia (Philippe de Champaigne).jpg
Louis XIII

What really sparked my interest was a mention of François Ravaillac (yes, I’m citing Wikipedia). Ravaaillac, I never knew, assassinated Henry IV, the father of Louis XIII, in 1610. Further, Henry IV’s father, Henry III was also assassinated, in 1589,

While these deaths are mentioned they are but part of a mini-plot in the Three Musketeers. But the story, besides being about intrigue, is about the religious wars that led to the death Henry III and and Henry IV.

The last of the Huguenot, Protestant, rebellion against the French crown occurred, as it did in The Three Musketeers, on the tiny Isle de Re, off the coast of La Rochelle, between Bordeax and Nantes.

Four hundred years later, the idea of of a religious war between the French and and the French that ended in the French Catholics starving our the French Protestants doesn’t sound like a big deal. Unless we were to extrapolate and consider that to be a class war and a culture war, in which one side had the support of the government and the clergy, and the other side begged for help from foreign countries across the sea.

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