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The Cavalier Years

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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })The favorite era for the Swashbuckler, the 17th Century is the age in Europe when lusty musketeers dueled with each other and got sucked into intrigues involving dauphins, Corrupt Churchmen and vampish courtesans. Hats with large feathers and big bucket-topped boots were in fashion for men. Also The Golden Age of Piracy on the High Seas, when eyepatched and peg-legged buccaneers buried stolen gold, brandished cutlasses, and tied up buxom, bodice-wearing maidens and then forced them to watch as their hapless boyfriends walked the plank.
Somewhere in the middle, Britain had a civil war. Dashing Cavaliers fought dour Puritans the length and breadth of both islands, and the son of the King hid in an oak tree. The Puritans won, and abolished Christmas, then the country abolished them. The surviving puritans left England and founded the United States, Charles II climbed back out of the oak tree, London burned to the ground, women were allowed to be actors on stage and Isaac Newton invented gravity. Somebody named Pepys kept a diary.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })Later still, King James II, a believer in absolute monarchy, was run out of Britain in a Glorious Revolution. Parliament's invitation of Stadtholder William III of Orange as the new King made it real clear who was really in charge of the island from now on as modern democracy took its next step toward fruition. Meanwhile, in the Bahamas, this was the best kind of news to the pirate, Captain Blood and his crew, who were enslaved by James II, as they accepted the new king's commission to join the British Navy.
Across the Atlantic, English settlers of all codes and creeds took over a patch of land along the eastern coasts of the New World.
Back on mainland Europe the Thirty Years' War was fought; France, Sweden, and Austria contended over the Holy Roman Empire, hastening its long, painful decline. East of Germany, rowdy Polish nobility alternated between fighting in perpetual wars against Sweden, Muscovy and Turkey, and generally making a mess around themselves. More to the west, the Dutch had an economic and cultural boom, ushering in their Golden Age which lasted a whole century.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_3'); })Then things settle down a very little, and The Enlightenment kicks in. But there’s a lot of overlap between the two periods, what with pirates, highwaymen, exploration, colonialism, and so on.
Sometimes explicitly called the Age of Exploration, especially if pirates are involved. If you want to do the pirates thing on land, remember that after the Restoration in England was the heyday of The Highwayman, so adventures featuring Dick Turpin and Claude Duval will be set at about this time.
Writers and artists of the first half of the 19th century LOVED this era, as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution and The Enlightenment of the previous century.
See also the Edo Period of Jidaigeki, the Japanese equivalent coinciding with this era. Also coinciding in this era are The Thirteen American Colonies across the pond. The later years of The Protestant Reformation overlaps with the time period, and religious warfare is often a background feature in the swashbuckling plots of this setting.
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By The Sword Divided: Specifically the English Civil War and the Commonwealth period.
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Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword.
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Queen Christina was set during the reign of Queen Christina of Sweden of the House of Vasa, played by Greta Garbo. Not necessarily historically accurate,
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The Diary of Samuel Pepys
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Mother Courage and Her Children
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The Carry On films usually created parodies of popular media and/or historical farces. For example, Carry On Dick is set in the early 18th century with the famous English highwayman Dick Turpin, who annoyed the secret police and charmed the young ladies, mostly because he was nicknamed "Big Dick". We are not joking.
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Sid Meier's Pirates! is based in this era as well.
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Treasure Island
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Moll Flanders
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Disney's Pocahontas takes place at the beginning of this era, as does, of course, any other adaptation of the Pocahontas story.
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The Europa Universalis series.
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The Three Musketeers
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Simplicissimus and Landstörtzerin Courasche by Grimmelshausen
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Mendoza The Great featured tropes from the era. But instead of portraying swords and gun duels, as a British historical comic it featured instead the favorite British past-time of classical pugilism or bare-knuckle boxing. It featured the real-life pugilist Daniel Mendoza a protagonist.
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This era has been visited repeatedly by the Abrafaxe. Their very first arc (January 1976-December 1977) was set in Dalmatia and Venice in the 17th century. This was followed by an arc set in Hungary, Austria, Bavaria and France at the time of the War of the Spanish Succession (January 1978-December 1980). Many years later, in the Baroque series (Mosaik No. 406-429), brainy Brabax as Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's private secretary in the 1690s while Abrax and Brabax are stuck in the France of Louis XIV.
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A Journal of the Plague Year
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The French comic De cape et de crocs, which makes a good work in giving a feeling of being a piece of Baroque literature. Think of Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, except wackier.
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Rob Roy, the somewhat less-well-known, but better-researched, cousin of Braveheart.
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The Pyrates is an Affectionate Parody not only of pirate tropes (as the title suggests) but also some of the other staples of the period (i.e. Charles II and Pepys appear briefly as characters).
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Pirate: After the 17th century, they were romanticized as rogues and anti-heroes, but during that time, especially in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, they were actual threats.
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Help Im A Teenage Outlaw
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Captain Blood is set in this period, during the reigns of James II and William III.
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Pirates of the Caribbean. At least theoretically.
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Blackadder the Third is set during the regency, but manages to work in a Dick Turpin type highwayman.
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7th Sea takes place in a setting heavily inspired by this era, with dashes of Viking longboats, Celtic druids, Enlightenment philosophers and steampunk gizmos.
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The Scarlet Pimpernel is set at the tail end of this period and uses many of its tropes.
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The Sienkiewicz Trilogy, set in the often-forgotten Poland.
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GURPS Swashbucklers, written for the third edition of that game, focuses on musketeers, pirates and (to a lesser extent) highwaymen.
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Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle is set entirely in this period.
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Suske en Wiske: The stories "De Dolle Musketiers", "De Raap van Rubens", "De Jolige Joffer", "De Gladde Glipper", "Angst Op De Amsterdam", "De Kleppende Klipper", "Het Wondere Wolfje" and "Beminde Barabas".
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1632 and its Alternate History novel, novella and short-story sequels.
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