Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras (16441712) was a French novelist and memorialist who wrote semi-fictional "memoirs" (in the first person) of historical figures from the recent past (such as the marquis de Montbrun and M. de Rochefort). His memoir-novels—such as "Mémoires de M.L.C.D.R." (1687), "Mémoires de M. d'Artagnan" (1700), "Mémoires de M. de B." (1711)—describe the social and political world of Richelieu and Mazarin without gallant clichés (spies, kidnappings, and political machinations predominate) and they were important precursors to both French picaresque novels and literary realism in the 18th century.

Courtilz de Sandras is most well known today for his semi-fictionalized memoirs of the famous musketeer d'Artagnan which were published in 1700 (27 years after the death of d'Artagnan) and which served as the model for Alexandre Dumas, père's portrayal of d'Artagnan in the The Three Musketeers (Fr: Les trois mousquetaires), Twenty Years After (Fr: Vingt ans après) and The Vicomte de Bragelonne (Fr: Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard).

Courtilz de Sandras served in the army before becoming a writer. He was imprisoned several times in the Bastille where Besmaux, the former companion of d’Artagnan, was warden and it was most likely from this source that he learned the details of d'Artagnan's life.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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