...I enjoyed William Wilson Goodson's article on Robin Hood in issue #166. But he's wrong when he writes that d'Artagnan was entirely a fictional creation of Alexandre Dumas, In fact, Charles de Batz-Castlemore, who assumed the name of d'Artagnan, was a real person. He was born in Gascony, France in 1613 and was killed June 25, 1673 while leading his musketeers at the siege of Maestricht. Athos, Porthos and Aramis were the assumed names of the three musketeers whom d'Artagnan knew quite well.
Courtilz de Sandras' Memoires de Monsiuer D'Artagnan, though only partially established in fact, was published in 1700, and the famous musketeer of Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV has been the subject of scholarly papers.
There is no valid evidence that a real Robin Hood existed.
Yet, in a sense, Zorro, Robin Hood and d'Attagnan did exist and still exist. The trio we know through fiction live far more vividly than most people we know. Long live Zorro, Robin Hood and d'Artagnan!
Philip Josť Farmer
Philip Josť Farmer is, simply, one of the world's greatest science fiction writers. He's also the biographer of Doc Savage and Tarzan of the Apes. Farmer's new Doc Savage novel, Escape from Loki, will be published by Bantam later this year.