This is the real truth behind the historical story of The Man in the Iron Mask. Really true history. The secret revealed
The Man in The Iron Mask was not who most people suspect he was.
Something that is not generally known about me is that I am President of the Ancient Society of Secret Historians.
This honourable organisation was set up in Bremen in Germany in the year 1672 by a group of academicians with the aim of compiling the true, but little known, stories behind famous historical episodes and people. Perusal of their records often show that there is a surprising divergence between what is generally regarded as history today and the actual true record of what happened. As a consequence the writings of the society members over the last three and a half centuries make diverting, and often enlightening reading. It was recently decided, after a meeting of the current generation of members, to authorise me to release for publication on the internet a selection of some of the more interesting narratives, in order to dispel some of the myths that have been propagated as historical fact for too many centuries now, and to set the record straight about the characters and personalities that are regarded by many today as either the heroes or the villains of history.
I am therefore publishing here for the first time the true story of The Man in the Iron Mask. This has not been copied from Wikipedia. In fact it contains original and, hitherto, unpublished facts that undoubtedly should be of interest to the contributors to that encylopedia when they make their future revisions.
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The Man in the Iron Mask was Doctor Who.
One of the most enduring mysteries that has come down to us from the great days of the reign of Louis XIV of France is the story of the Man in the Iron Mask. Much ink has been used up in retelling that famous story and there have been innumerable theories put out as to the identity of the unfortunate prisoner who was housed in a selection of french prisons around the latter half of the seventeenth century. Some have speculated that he was the twin brother of the king. Others say that he was an italian diplomat. This was the theory of the nineteenth century novelist Alexandre Dumas, who wrote about it in the last of his novels about The Three Musketeers and D,Artagnan. There is a belief that he was a french nobleman of questionable morals who was caught doing some unspeakable acts in the grounds of one of the king's castles. I can tell you here now, for the first time, that none of the popularly supposed beliefs as to his identity are correct.
They were all concocted in order to cover up the fact that the king had been caught inflagrante with one of his mistresses by that intrepid time traveller Doctor Who. It was in order to buy back his soul, so to speak that the Sun King kept the Doctor a prisoner for almost thirty years.
What happened briefly was this. Louis XIV was a very virile man. As the absolute ruler of the french nation he had many opportunities to put it about, so to speak. As a result he had many mistresses. One of his first, and most beautiful was Louise De La Valliere. History records that the lovely Louise ended her days in a convent in order to expiate the sins of her youth. What it does not tell you is the circumstances that lead up to her deciding to take the veil in the first place. I can tell you that now, and explain what influence the great Time Lord had in her life changing decision.
The story began like this. One evening when she was entertaining her royal paromour in the bedroom of her apartment at the palace, and just as they were getting down to the really interesting bit, there echoed through the room that grating noise only too familiar to the fans of science fiction television. A nineteen fifties british police telephone box suddenly appeared in the corner of the room. Of course the king and the lady both jumped out of bed, hurriedly covering their modesty with the dishevelled bedclothes. As they stared in amazement at the strange object that had disturbed their coupling, a door opened in the box and a strangely dressed man emerged. This was Doctor Who in his David Tennant incarnation. (This episode has not been shown on television as Doctor Who is scheduled for too early in the evening and it is considered that the scenes depicted are not suitable for a youthful audience).
It is said of Louis XIV that he was of a most equable temperament, and he showed his feeling on only about three occasions in a reign of seventy two years. If that is true, this definitely was a fourth. His mouth was opened so much that his lower jaw could almost have covered his modesty equally as well as the hastily grabbed bedclothes. As for Louise she just fainted. The Doctor, being a clever sort of fellow, had realised immediately where he was and who the two people were who were in the room. He was in a mischievous mood, and he decided to have some fun. So, instead of saying that he was The Doctor he immediately announced that he was an emmissary from the devil come to claim the king's soul as a punishment for his debaucheries.
The Doctor becomes The Man in the Iron Mask.
This was a foolish thing to say. You should never threaten a King of France, even if you do think it is funny at the time. Quick as a flash His Majesty recalled who he was, and called out for his guards, who, as in all good stories, were conveniently within earshot. The space and time intruder was immediately arrested. THe king told him that he could be released when he promised to give back possession of his soul, and not one moment sooner. In order to spare his jailers from any contamination that might arise from gazing on the diabolic features he further decreed that his head was to be always covered by an iron mask, except for a hole over the mouth too allow the captive to eat, and some smaller holes over the nose for breathing. The Doctor was then carted off to prison to contemplate the consequences of his "Lese Majeste". The Tardis remained where it was, although it was covered up with drapes to deflect the interest of the curious.
As Time Lords can live for many hundreds of years the thirty years or so that Doctor Who was kept as a state prisoner seemed, to him, only a few. He whiled away the time inventing the idea of the internet.
The proof this is the truth about The Man in the Iron Mask.
But he did not communicate them to the seventeenth century. He saved them for a later era. Eventually he got bored however. He sent a message to the king that he was willing to return his soul to him. The king, being an honourable man, conveyed him to the palace, and he returned to his meanderings through the ages.
That is the truth behind the story of The Man in the Iron Mask. You may not believe it, but there is proof if you are allowed to get in to see it. In the Vatican in Rome there is a very secret room. Only the Pope has the key. Each Pope must keep this key in a very secret place. The key, and the exact location of the room are disclosed only to each Pontiff on his accession to the Papal Throne. In the room is an exact lifesize copy of what is believed to be the "Box" that the emissary of the devil travelled in. It is made in cedarwood and was created by the great italian sculptor Bernini, who worked for a period in France for Louis XIV. It looks exactly like a nineteen fifties british police telephone box. When Dan Brown wrote his fictions about the Catholic Church he missed out on the one only true secret that there was. How ironic that I should be giving it to you now. He made a fortune with lies, and I tell you the truth for nothing.
A final footnote to the story is that the real reason why Louise De La Valliere entered the convent is, because the fright she got when she believed that the devil was going to take her lover to Hell, decided her to devote the rest of her life to praying so that dreadful fate could be averted. Let us hope that she succeeded.