From the rulebook:
"En Garde is a semi-historical game/simulation representing many of the situations of an Errol Flynn movie set in the Seventeenth or Eighteenth Centuries. The game was originally devised as a fencing system, with background added to provide scenarios for the duels. After a time, it became apparent that the background was more fun than the duels, and En Garde, in its present form, was born."
"In En Garde, a player finds himself born into and educated in a world where social climbing is a way of life, and status is a goal to be pursued even over money. It is a world inhabited by Cyrano, Roxanne, Scaranouche, Errol Flynn, Porthos, Athos, Aramis, Rhonda Fleming, Francois Villon, Constance, and, of course, D'Artagnan. There are people to be used, friends in high places to be cultivated, enemies to be humiliated, the Cardinal's Guard to be trounced, lackies to be abused, the hand of a fair damsel to be won, and the ear of the King to be gained. Come with us now, to those vibrant, bawdy days of Yore."