Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015462, Thu, 6 Sep 2007 09:38:34 -0400

THOUGHTS: Lansquenet--another link to Charles I & Dumas
Dear list,

I was doing some reading in Alexandre Dumas' Twenty Years After--sequel to
The Three Musketeers--when I came upon what surely must be the source of
Nabokov's reference in PF to the card game lansquenet. As you will recall,
this is the game two soldiers were playing in the courtyard outside the
lumber room where King Charles was imprisoned and from which he would soon
escape via the tunnel. In Twenty Years After, chapter LXV is titled "The
Game of Lasquenet." In this chapter, the protagonists attend a game of
Lasquenet thrown by Captain Groslow. The game takes place outside the room
where King Charles I (Stuart) is held captive, and the four heroes hope they
will be able to overpower the eight guards and set him free. In both
passages, then, we have soldiers playing lasquenet outside outside the room
where King Charles is held captive.

I've looked on the list, in Boyd & Meyer, and on the MLAIB for any notes
about this allusion but finding none I thought I'd post it here. Apologies
if it has already been noted elsewhere.

Matt Roth

PS. I know that VN talks extensively about lansquenet and other "banking
games" in his EO notes, so I'm not claiming that VN learned about the game
from Dumas, just that the chapter in Dumas is clearly associated with the
plot in PF.

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