eustache dauger

The Man in the Iron Mask

The Man in the Iron Mask (French: L'Homme au Masque de Fer; c. 1640 – 19 November 1703) is the name given to an unidentified prisoner who was arrested under the name “Eustache Dauger” in 1669 or 1670 and subsequently held in a number of French prisons, including the Bastille and the Fortress of Pignerol (modern Pinerolo, Italy). 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 Louis XIV of France (1643–1715). Since no one ever saw his face because it was hidden by a mask of black velvet cloth, the true identity of the prisoner remains a mystery even today; it has been extensively debated by historians, and various theories have been expounded in numerous books and films.

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