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Vivid historical gossip, including bios of Lucrezia Borgia, her brother Cesare (model for Machiavelli's The Prince), and her father Pope Alexandre VI; also the story of Martin Guere, which was made into a French movie starring Gerard Despardieu and then remade as an American film translated to the Civil War, starring Jodie Foster and Richard Gere; and also and essay on The Man in the Iron Mask, which speculates about the historical basis of Dumas' novel of that name, which was also made into a move. The stories included are: The Borgias, The Cenci, Massacres of the South, Mary Stuart, Karl-Ludwig Sand, Urbain Grandier, Nisida, Desrues, La Constantin, Joan of Naples, The Man in the Iron Mask (an essay, reflecting on the history behind the novel), Martin Guerre (source of the movies "The Return of Martin Guerre" and "Somersby"), Ali Pacha, The Countess of Saint Geran, Murat, The Marquise de Brinvilliers, Vaninka, and The Marquise de Ganges.

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