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    Cardinal Mazarin

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    July 14, 1602 – March 9, 1661

    In "The Three Musketeers", Alexandre Dumas created one of literature's greatest villains: Cardinal Richelieu, the conniving, manipulative, purely evil puppet-master who will stop at nothing to stop our titular heroes (plus a certain fourth joiner). So, when Dumas decided to bring back the musketeers in the sequel...

    There was no Richelieu. Perhaps it was a case of been there, done that, but Dumas set the sequel twenty years after the original, imaginably titling it... "Twenty Years After". By then, the historical Richelieu was deep in the ground, so Dumas needed a new villain. Enter Cardinal Mazarin.

    Mazarin is presented as Richelieu's pale shadow: he is incompetent, he is greedy, he is petty, he has a big nose, he is shtupping the queen. In fact, Richelieu is practically rehabilitated by comparison, as d'Artagnan yearns for his original, real adversary. Unfortunately for him, after those twenty years in wilderness, he has no choice but to serve Mazarin in his quest to relive his glory days. It works out. (Mostly. Not so much in the sequel that followed this one.)

    Of course, the real-life Mazarin was not exactly like his bumbling literary counterpart. In fact, he did much good for France, including winning the Thirty Years War. We're not sure if he shtupped the queen...

    But he did have a big nose and was subject of Jewish rumors, so there is that.

    Verdict: Not a Jew.

    July 2, 2021

    See Also

    Jeno Fuchs

    The Jesuits

    Logan Lerman

    Richard Lester

    John Joseph O'Connor
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