As you may be aware, Project Gutenberg has been involved with the writings of both the Alexandre Dumases for some time now, and since we get a few questions about the order in which the books should be read, and in which they were published, these following comments should hopefully help most of our readers.
The Vicomte de Bragelonne is the final volume of D'Artagnan Romances: it is usually split into three or four parts, and the final portion is entitled The Man in the Iron Mask. The Man in the Iron Mask we're familiar with today is the last volume of the four-volume edition. [Not all the editions split them in the same manner, hence some of the confusion...but wait...there's yet more reason for confusion.]
We intend to do ALL of The Vicomte de Bragelonne, split into four etexts entitled The Vicomte de Bragelonne, Ten Years Later, Louise de la Valliere, and The Man in the Iron Mask; you WILL be getting The Man in the Iron Mask.
One thing that may be causing confusion is that the etext we have now, entitled Ten Years Later, says it's the sequel to The Three Musketeers. While this is technically true, there's another book, Twenty Years After, that comes between. The confusion is generated by the two facts that we published Ten Years Later BEFORE we published Twenty Years After, and that many people see those titles as meaning Ten and Twenty Years "After" the original story...however, this is why the different words "After" and "Later"...the Ten Years "After" is ten years after the Twenty Years later.. .as per history. Also, the third book of the D'Artagnan Romances, while entitled The Vicomte de Bragelonne, has the subtitle Ten Years Later. These two titles are also given to different volumes: The Vicomte de Bragelonne can refer to the whole book, or the first volume of the three or four-volume editions. Ten Years Later can, similarly, refer to the whole book, or the second volume of the four-volume edition. To add to the confusion, in the case of our etexts, it refers to the first 104 chapters of the whole book, covering material in the first and second etexts in the new series. Here is a guide to the series which may prove helpful:
The Three Musketeers: Etext 1257—First book of the D'Artagnan Romances. Covers the years 1625-1628.
Twenty Years After: Etext 1259—Second book of the D'Artagnan Romances. Covers the years 1648-1649. [Third in the order that we published, but second in time sequence!!!]
Ten Years Later: Etext 1258—First 104 chapters of the third book of the D'Artagnan Romances. Covers the years 1660-1661.
The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Etext 2609 (first in the new series)—First 75 chapters of the third book of the D'Artagnan Romances. Covers the year 1660.
Ten Years Later: Etext 2681 (second in the new series)—Chapters 76-140 of that third book of the D'Artagnan Romances. Covers the years 1660-1661. [In this particular editing of it]
Louise de la Valliere: Etext 2710 (our new text)—Chapters 141-208 of the third book of the D'Artagnan Romances. Covers the year 1661.
The Man in the Iron Mask: forthcoming (our next text)—Chapters 209-269 of the third book of the D'Artagnan Romances. Covers the years 1661-1673.
If we've calculated correctly, that fourth text SHOULD correspond to the modern editions of The Man in the Iron Mask, which is still widely circulated, and comprises about the last 1/4 of The Vicomte de Bragelonne.
Here is a list of the other Dumas Etexts we have published so far:
Sep 1999 La Tulipe Noire, by Alexandre Dumas[Pere#6/French][tlpnrxxx.xxx]1910 This is an abridged edition in French, also see our full length English Etext Jul 1997 The Black Tulip, by Alexandre Dumas[Pere][Dumas#1][tbtlpxxx.xxx] 965 Jan 1998 The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas[Pere][crstoxxx.xxx]1184
Many thanks to Dr. David Coward, whose editions of the D'Artagnan Romances have proved an invaluable source of information.