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Johnny DeppJack Sparrow

Disney has created a wonderful image for us of the, slightly inept, but very lovable pirate - Captain Jack Sparrow. It makes me wonder just how close this interpretation is to the characters in her books, that Anne Golon might have visualised - with the exception, of course, of Joffrey/Rescator whom she preferred to clothe in the slightly old-fashioned 'Spanish' style.

Until I started researching the difference in the costumes which are substantial but subtle I did not really appreciate why Anne Golon should put that most fastidious of dressers into, by her own observation, a by-gone style. Eventually light did dawn and the reason became apparent. As with so much of the creative writing produced by Anne Golon, she merely used this method to sow further confusion just in case someone might guess ahead of time the real identity of Lord Rescator. By placing him in clothing not associated with Joffrey de Peyrac she also obfuscated his origins as no Frenchman worth his salt would be associated with the Spanish style. Even when I wrote my review of this book, all those years ago, I had identified, like probably hundreds of thousand of others that if Rescator were Joffrey - where was the famous troubadours voice and what had happened to the limp - both such pronounced and identifiable traits attributed to the Comte de Toulouse - and now I realise I should also be asking myself and where is the fashion sense? This cannot be Joffrey de Peyrac (he'd even cut off his tresses!)

Thanks to a wonderful web-site 'The Costumer's Manifesto' I can bring you a selection of clothing, from original image sources, which encompasses most of the styles thrown together for the creation of Jack Sparrow. I genuinely wish that this web-site (and indeed the world-wide-web itself) had been around when I was studying for my History of Art / Theatre 3-Dimensional Art degree. The bonus for me is that having had to trawl the libraries and museums, way back then, has made it easier for me to spot the right information on the web now when I look for specific information to create these pages.

The Jack Sparrow Look-a-likes ......

Costume 1630Costume 1625Jean Bart

From left to right - a gentleman from 1630 - centre stage (and winner in my book) comes from 1625 and Jean Bart the famous French Corsair who came from Dunkirk and is pictured here circa 1690 with his long and thin pipe, and the justaucorps only buttoned at the waist with three buttons

Rescator's Spanish Look .....

If the man known for his sartorial elegance wanted to suppress his 'dedicated follower of fashion' image then these two images from 1600 and 1700 would certainly have done the trick - Rescator would find himself somewhere between these two!

Spanish 1600 Spanish 1700

But was Joffrey de Pyrac two-faced?

A light-hearted question posed when the two actors who portrayed Joffrey de Peyrac sport scars on opposite sides of their faces! Or is it merely a question of vanity encouraged by the actors who would prefer to showcase their preferred 'profile' without scars?

Hossein as Peyrac

Robert Hossein quite clearly carries his scar(s) on the left side of his face

Lanvin as de Peyrac

Gérard Lanvin favours the scars on the right side of his face

So which of the images is correct?

This will actually need a bit more research because in the English translation it quite clearly states the following as Angélique first sets eyes on the actual man who is to be her husband - "Two deep scars ran from his temple to his left cheek and across one half-closed eyelid."

The Polish version gives the same description of the scars but does not state whether on the left or right side of the face.

It is known that Anne Golon approved the image of Joffrey as portrayed by Gérard Lanvin and equally it is known that she was not over-keen on the 1960s interpretations of her books on screen.

Neither variation of the make-up shows the scars from the temple or a even a close eyelid which is described quite clearly; similarly Joffrey's lips are described as full and that he is clean-shaven which is contrary to the times and only makes his 'curious' image more pronounced. There is no mention of the scar straying to the lips (as seen in the Gérard Lanvin interpretation.

I now have scans from the original French books and the scars are very definitely described as being on the 'gauche' (left hand side of Joffrey's face) so despite the 'whimsical' 1960s in interpretations of the films, at least they got that right!

Page extract Book1Page extract Book 1

The bottom of page 228 refers to 'Deux profonde cicatrices .....' (two deeply embedded scars) '... sa joue gauche, et fermaient' (on the left side over a half-closed eyelid)

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Page updated 12th October 2015