With its rousing cry of "One for all, and all for one," Alexandre Dumas's thrilling adventure novel has captivated generations of readers since its initial publication in 1844. Action, intrigue, and romance abound in this swashbuckling epic, which traces a country lad's path to the French court of the early 1600s and the glorious fraternity of the king's men, the Musketeers.
A son of impoverished nobility, D'Artagnan arrives in Paris to find the Musketeers disbanded by the cunning Cardinal Richelieu, who hopes to seize power from the weak-willed Louis XIII. The daring and ambitious youth proves his mettle in the company of the famous Musketeers — Porthos, Athos, and Aramis — and joins them in a heroic struggle to defend the king and his lovely queen, Anne of Austria.
Dumas transformed the concept of the historical novel by writing in a modern, conversational style. His accessible, fast-paced narratives combine real and fictional characters to recapture the events, manners, and mood of seventeenth-century France. Emerging in the chaotic aftermath of the Revolution, Dumas's novels provided his contemporaries with a welcome sense of identity and national pride. His most popular work, The Three Musketeers, continues to charm modern readers with its timeless tales of romantic valor.
About the Author
Alexandre Dumas (July 24, 1802 – December 5, 1870) was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of adventure. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo, was originally serialized. He also wrote plays and magazine articles and was a prolific correspondent.
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The Three Musketeers
By Alexandre Dumas
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 2016 Alexandre Dumas
All rights reserved.
THE THREE PRESENTS OF D'ARTAGNAN THE ELDER
On the first Monday of the month of April, 1625, the market town of Meung, in which the author of Romance of the Rose was born, appeared to be in as perfect a state of revolution as if the Huguenots had just made a second La Rochelle of it. Many citizens, seeing the women flying toward the High Street, leaving their children crying at the open doors, hastened to don the cuirass, and supporting their somewhat uncertain courage with a musket or a partisan, directed their steps toward the hostelry of the Jolly Miller, before which was gathered, increasing every minute, a compact group, vociferous and full of curiosity.
In those times panics were common, and few days passed without some city or other registering in its archives an event of this kind. There were nobles, who made war against each other; there was the king, who made war against the cardinal; there was Spain, which made war against the king. Then, in addition to these concealed or public, secret or open wars, there were robbers, mendicants, Huguenots, wolves, and scoundrels, who made war upon everybody. The citizens always took up arms readily against thieves, wolves or scoundrels, often against nobles or Huguenots, sometimes against the king, but never against the cardinal or Spain. It resulted, then, from this habit that on the said first Monday of April, 1625, the citizens, on hearing the clamor, and seeing neither the red-and-yellow standard nor the livery of the Duc de Richelieu, rushed toward the hostel of the Jolly Miller. When arrived there, the cause of the hubbub was apparent to all.
A young man — we can sketch his portrait at a dash. Imagine to yourself a Don Quixote of eighteen; a Don Quixote without his corselet, without his coat of mail, without his cuisses; a Don Quixote clothed in a woolen doublet, the blue color of which had faded into a nameless shade between lees of wine and a heavenly azure; face long and brown; high cheek bones, a sign of sagacity; the maxillary muscles enormously developed, an infallible sign by which a Gascon may always be detected, even without his cap — and our young man wore a cap set off with a sort of feather; the eye open and intelligent; the nose hooked, but finely chiseled. Too big for a youth, too small for a grown man, an experienced eye might have taken him for a farmer's son upon a journey had it not been for the long sword which, dangling from a leather baldric, hit against the calves of its owner as he walked, and against the rough side of his steed when he was on horseback.
For our young man had a steed which was the observed of all observers. It was a Bearn pony, from twelve to fourteen years old, yellow in his hide, without a hair in his tail, but not without windgalls on his legs, which, though going with his head lower than his knees, rendering a martingale quite unnecessary, contrived nevertheless to perform his eight leagues a day. Unfortunately, the qualities of this horse were so well concealed under his strange -colored hide and his unaccountable gait, that at a time when everybody was a connoisseur in horseflesh, the appearance of the aforesaid pony at Meung — which place he had entered about a quarter of an hour before, by the gate of Beaugency — produced an unfavorable feeling, which extended to his rider.
And this feeling had been more painfully perceived by young d'Artagnan — for so was the Don Quixote of this second Rosinante named — from his not being able to conceal from himself the ridiculous appearance that such a steed gave him, good horseman as he was. He had sighed deeply, therefore, when accepting the gift of the pony from M. d'Artagnan the elder. He was not ignorant that such a beast was worth at least twenty livres; and the words which had accompanied the present were above all price.
"My son," said the old Gascon gentleman, in that pure Bearn Patois of which Henry IV could never rid himself, "this horse was born in the house of your father about thirteen years ago, and has remained in it ever since, which ought to make you love it. Never sell it; allow it to die tranquilly and honorably of old age, and if you make a campaign with it, take as much care of it as you would of an old servant. At court, provided you have ever the honor to go there," continued M. d'Artagnan the elder, "— an honor to which, remember, your ancient nobility gives you the right — sustain worthily your name of gentleman, which has been worthily borne by your ancestors for five hundred years, both for your own sake and the sake of those who belong to you. By the latter I mean your relatives and friends. Endure nothing from anyone except Monsieur the Cardinal and the king. It is by his courage, please observe, by his courage alone, that a gentleman can make his way nowadays. Whoever hesitates for a second perhaps allows the bait to escape which during that exact second fortune held out to him. You are young. You ought to be brave for two reasons: the first is that you are a Gascon, and the second is that you are my son. Never fear quarrels, but seek adventures. I have taught you how to handle a sword; you have thews of iron, a wrist of steel. Fight on all occasions. Fight the more for duels being forbidden, since consequently there is twice as much courage in fighting. I have nothing to give you, my son, but fifteen crowns, my horse, and the counsels you have just heard. Your mother will add to them a recipe for a certain balsam, which she had from a Bohemian and which has the miraculous virtue of curing all wounds that do not reach the heart. Take advantage of all, and live happily and long. I have but one word to add, and that is to propose an example to you — not mine, for I myself have never appeared at court, and have only taken part in religious wars as a volunteer; I speak of Monsieur de Treville, who was formerly my neighbor, and who had the honor to be, as a child, the play-fellow of our king, Louis XIII, whom God preserve! Sometimes their play degenerated into battles, and in these battles the king was not always the stronger. The blows which he received increased greatly his esteem and friendship for Monsieur de Treville. Afterward, Monsieur de Treville fought with others: in his first journey to Paris, five times; from the death of the late king till the young one came of age, without reckoning wars and sieges, seven times; and from that date up to the present day, a hundred times, perhaps! So that in spite of edicts, ordinances, and decrees, there he is, captain of the Musketeers; that is to say, chief of a legion of Caesars, whom the king holds in great esteem and whom the cardinal dreads — he who dreads nothing, as it is said. Still further, Monsieur de Treville gains ten thousand crowns a year; he is therefore a great noble. He began as you begin. Go to him with this letter, and make him your model in order that you may do as he has done."
Upon which M. d'Artagnan the elder girded his own sword round his son, kissed him tenderly on both cheeks, and gave him his benediction.
On leaving the paternal chamber, the young man found his mother, who was waiting for him with the famous recipe of which the counsels we have just repeated would necessitate frequent employment. The adieux were on this side longer and more tender than they had been on the other — not that M. d'Artagnan did not love his son, who was his only offspring, but M. d'Artagnan was a man, and he would have considered it unworthy of a man to give way to his feelings; whereas Mme. d'Artagnan was a woman, and still more, a mother. She wept abundantly; and — let us speak it to the praise of M. d'Artagnan the younger — notwithstanding the efforts he made to remain firm, as a future Musketeer ought, nature prevailed, and he shed many tears, of which he succeeded with great difficulty in concealing the half.
The same day the young man set forward on his journey, furnished with the three paternal gifts, which consisted, as we have said, of fifteen crowns, the horse, and the letter for M. de Treville — the counsels being thrown into the bargain.
With such a vade mecum d'Artagnan was morally and physically an exact copy of the hero of Cervantes, to whom we so happily compared him when our duty of an historian placed us under the necessity of sketching his portrait. Don Quixote took windmills for giants, and sheep for armies; d'Artagnan took every smile for an insult, and every look as a provocation — whence it resulted that from Tarbes to Meung his fist was constantly doubled, or his hand on the hilt of his sword; and yet the fist did not descend upon any jaw, nor did the sword issue from its scabbard. It was not that the sight of the wretched pony did not excite numerous smiles on the countenances of passers-by; but as against the side of this pony rattled a sword of respectable length, and as over this sword gleamed an eye rather ferocious than haughty, these passers-by repressed their hilarity, or if hilarity prevailed over prudence, they endeavored to laugh only on one side, like the masks of the ancients. D'Artagnan, then, remained majestic and intact in his susceptibility, till he came to this unlucky city of Meung.
But there, as he was alighting from his horse at the gate of the Jolly Miller, without anyone — host, waiter, or hostler — coming to hold his stirrup or take his horse, d'Artagnan spied, though an open window on the ground floor, a gentleman, well-made and of good carriage, although of rather a stern countenance, talking with two persons who appeared to listen to him with respect. D'Artagnan fancied quite naturally, according to his custom, that he must be the object of their conversation, and listened. This time d'Artagnan was only in part mistaken; he himself was not in question, but his horse was. The gentleman appeared to be enumerating all his qualities to his auditors; and, as I have said, the auditors seeming to have great deference for the narrator, they every moment burst into fits of laughter. Now, as a half-smile was sufficient to awaken the irascibility of the young man, the effect produced upon him by this vociferous mirth may be easily imagined.
Nevertheless, d'Artagnan was desirous of examining the appearance of this impertinent personage who ridiculed him. He fixed his haughty eye upon the stranger, and perceived a man of from forty to forty-five years of age, with black and piercing eyes, pale complexion, a strongly marked nose, and a black and well-shaped mustache. He was dressed in a doublet and hose of a violet color, with aiguillettes of the same color, without any other ornaments than the customary slashes, through which the shirt appeared. This doublet and hose, though new, were creased, like traveling clothes for a long time packed in a portmanteau. D'Artagnan made all these remarks with the rapidity of a most minute observer, and doubtless from an instinctive feeling that this stranger was destined to have a great influence over his future life.
Now, as at the moment in which d'Artagnan fixed his eyes upon the gentleman in the violet doublet, the gentleman made one of his most knowing and profound remarks respecting the Bearnese pony, his two auditors laughed even louder than before, and he himself, though contrary to his custom, allowed a pale smile (if I may be allowed to use such an expression) to stray over his countenance. This time there could be no doubt; d'Artagnan was really insulted. Full, then, of this conviction, he pulled his cap down over his eyes, and endeavoring to copy some of the court airs he had picked up in Gascony among young traveling nobles, he advanced with one hand on the hilt of his sword and the other resting on his hip. Unfortunately, as he advanced, his anger increased at every step; and instead of the proper and lofty speech he had prepared as a prelude to his challenge, he found nothing at the tip of his tongue but a gross personality, which he accompanied with a furious gesture.
"I say, sir, you sir, who are hiding yourself behind that shutter — yes, you, sir, tell me what you are laughing at, and we will laugh together!"
The gentleman raised his eyes slowly from the nag to his cavalier, as if he required some time to ascertain whether it could be to him that such strange reproaches were addressed; then, when he could not possibly entertain any doubt of the matter, his eyebrows slightly bent, and with an accent of irony and insolence impossible to be described, he replied to d'Artagnan, "I was not speaking to you, sir."
"But I am speaking to you!" replied the young man, additionally exasperated with this mixture of insolence and good manners, of politeness and scorn.
The stranger looked at him again with a slight smile, and retiring from the window, came out of the hostelry with a slow step, and placed himself before the horse, within two paces of d'Artagnan. His quiet manner and the ironical expression of his countenance redoubled the mirth of the persons with whom he had been talking, and who still remained at the window.
D'Artagnan, seeing him approach, drew his sword a foot out of the scabbard.
"This horse is decidedly, or rather has been in his youth, a buttercup," resumed the stranger, continuing the remarks he had begun, and addressing himself to his auditors at the window, without paying the least attention to the exasperation of d'Artagnan, who, however, placed himself between him and them. "It is a color very well known in botany, but till the present time very rare among horses."
"There are people who laugh at the horse that would not dare to laugh at the master," cried the young emulator of the furious Treville.
"I do not often laugh, sir," replied the stranger, "as you may perceive by the expression of my countenance; but nevertheless I retain the privilege of laughing when I please."
"And I," cried d'Artagnan, "will allow no man to laugh when it displeases me!"
"Indeed, sir," continued the stranger, more calm than ever; "well, that is perfectly right!" and turning on his heel, was about to re-enter the hostelry by the front gate, beneath which d'Artagnan on arriving had observed a saddled horse.
But, d'Artagnan was not of a character to allow a man to escape him thus who had the insolence to ridicule him. He drew his sword entirely from the scabbard, and followed him, crying, "Turn, turn, Master Joker, lest I strike you behind!"
"Strike me!" said the other, turning on his heels, and surveying the young man with as much astonishment as contempt. "Why, my good fellow, you must be mad!" Then, in a suppressed tone, as if speaking to himself, "This is annoying," continued he. "What a godsend this would be for his Majesty, who is seeking everywhere for brave fellows to recruit for his Musketeers!"
He had scarcely finished, when d'Artagnan made such a furious lunge at him that if he had not sprung nimbly backward, it is probable he would have jested for the last time. The stranger, then perceiving that the matter went beyond raillery, drew his sword, saluted his adversary, and seriously placed himself on guard. But at the same moment, his two auditors, accompanied by the host, fell upon d'Artagnan with sticks, shovels and tongs. This caused so rapid and complete a diversion from the attack that d'Artagnan's adversary, while the latter turned round to face this shower of blows, sheathed his sword with the same precision, and instead of an actor, which he had nearly been, became a spectator of the fight — a part in which he acquitted himself with his usual impassiveness, muttering, nevertheless, "A plague upon these Gascons! Replace him on his orange horse, and let him begone!"
"Not before I have killed you, poltroon!" cried d'Artagnan, making the best face possible, and never retreating one step before his three assailants, who continued to shower blows upon him.
"Another gasconade!" murmured the gentleman. "By my honor, these Gascons are incorrigible! Keep up the dance, then, since he will have it so. When he is tired, he will perhaps tell us that he has had enough of it."
But the stranger knew not the headstrong personage he had to do with; d'Artagnan was not the man ever to cry for quarter. The fight was therefore prolonged for some seconds; but at length d'Artagnan dropped his sword, which was broken in two pieces by the blow of a stick. Another blow full upon his forehead at the same moment brought him to the ground, covered with blood and almost fainting.
It was at this moment that people came flocking to the scene of action from all sides. The host, fearful of consequences, with the help of his servants carried the wounded man into the kitchen, where some trifling attentions were bestowed upon him.
As to the gentleman, he resumed his place at the window, and surveyed the crowd with a certain impatience, evidently annoyed by their remaining undispersed.
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Table of Contents
Author's Preface xxi
I The Three Presents of Monsieur d'Artagnam the Elder 3
II The Antechamber of Monsieur de Tréville 20
III The Audience 31
IV The Shoulder of Athos, the Baldric of Porthos, and the Handkerchief of Aramis 43
V The King's Musketeers and the Cardinal's Guards 52
VI His Majesty King Louis XIII 64
VII The Domestic Life of the Musketeers 85
VIII A Court Intrigue 95
IX D'Artagnan Begins to Show Himself 104
X A Seventeenth-Century Mousetrap 114
XI The Plot Thickens 126
XII George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham 145
XIII Monsieur Bonacieux 154
XIV The Man of Meung 164
XV Men of the Robe and Men of the Sword 176
XVI In Which Séguier, the Keeper of the Seals, Looks More Than Once for the Bell He Used to Ring 186
XVII In the Bonacieux Household 199
XVIII The Lover and the Husband 214
XIX Plan of Campaign 222
XX The Journey 232
XXI The Comtesse de Winter 245
XXII The Ballet of La Merlaison 257
XXIII The Rendezvous 265
XXIV The Pavilion 277
XXV The Mistress of Porthos 288
XXVI The Thesis of Aramis 308
XXVII The Wife of Athos 327
XXVIII The Return 348
XXIX The Hunt for Equipment 364
XXX Milady 374
XXXI English and French 384
XXXII Dinner at the Prosecutor's 392
XXXIII Mistress and Maid 402
XXXIV Concernig the Equipment of Aramis and Porthos 413
XXXV At Night All Cats Are Gray 422
XXXVI Dreams of Vengeance 430
XXXVII Milady's Secret 439
XXXVIII How Athos, Without Inconveniencing Himself, Acquired His Equipment 446
XXXIX An Apparition 456
XL The Cardinal 466
XLI The Siege of La Rochelle 476
XLII The Anjou Wine 490
XLIII The Inn at Colombire-Rouge 499
XLIV On the Utility of Stovepipes 509
XLV A Conjugal Scene 518
XLVI The Bastion of Saint-Gervais 525
XLVII The Council of the Musketeers 534
XLVIII A Family Affair 554
XLIX The Hand of Fate 571
L A Conversation Between Brother and Sister 580
LI "Officer!" 588
LII The First Day of Captivity 600
LIII The Second Day of Captivity 608
LIV The Third Day of Captivity 616
LV The Fourth Day of Captivity 626
LVI The Fifth Day of Captivity 635
LVII A Scene from Classical Tragedy 652
LVIII Escape 660
LIX What Happened at Portsmouth on 23 August 1628 670
LX In France 683
LXI The Carmelite Convent at Béthune 689
LXII Two Varieties of Demon 703
LXIII A Drop of Water 711
LXIV The Man in the Red Cloak 727
LXL Judgment 733
LXVI Execution 743
LXVII Conclusion 749
Dramatis Personae: Historical Characters 761
Notes on the Text of The Three Musketeers 772
What People are Saying About This
"Dumas is a master of ripping yarns full of fearless heroes, poisonous ladies and swashbuckling adventurers."
"The Napoleon of storytellers."
— Washington Post
“The name Alexandre Dumas is more than French—it is universal.”—Victor Hugo
Reading Group Guide
1. Discuss Dumas's use of historical events in the novel. Do you think a knowledge of history is necessary or unnecessary in order to enjoy the novel? Discuss the ways in which Dumas alters or takes liberties with real events in order to suit the story. Is his view of history sanitized in any way?
2. Dumas is thought of as the chief popularizer of French Romantic drama. In considering The Three Musketeers, do you think this reputation is an accurate one? How does Dumas use dramatic effect in the novel?
3. Contemporary critics were offended by the scenes depicting vice and violence in the novel. Do you find these scenes arbitrary or not?
4. Many critics have described the musketeers as well-developed stereotypes, but are there ways in which the musketeers transcend these stereotypes? Are there other, perhaps more complex ways of interpreting the four protagonists?
5. Discuss Dumas's female characters, in particular Milady. What is her role in the novel, and what does this reveal about Dumas's views of women, if anything? Does Dumas depict a war between the sexes?
6. How do the chapter endings contribute to Dumas's masterly maintenance of pace? How does this kind of device recall a play, and how does this speak to Dumas's strengths stylistically?
7. In what ways is The Three Musketeers a bildungsroman? Would you characterize the work as a youthful novel?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Countless movies have been made over the years on Alexandre Dumas¿ The Three Musketeers. Regardless of how many times you have seen these movies or which ones you have seen, nothing can compare to the book. This book is a timeless classic with an extremely action-packed plot that will glue itself to your fingers until you have read the last two words of the book: ¿THE END.¿ I have enjoyed this book tremendously and would recommend it. For guys, this book is the perfect book with the most interesting things in life engraved in it. D¿Artagnan, a zealous young man from a somewhat poor family, has come to Paris in search of his life long dream, becoming a musketeer. In doing so he plays his cards wrong and although securing it well with the leader of the musketeers, secures himself three duals at the same time: He had one with Athos, one with Porthos, and one with Aramis. Although humorous, this then builds their friendship and they accept D¿Artagnan as one of them. The next thing they know they are defending the Queen against the hatred of the Cardinal, hunting down a beautiful spy, taking on armies by themselves, and a whole lot more. One of the more interesting parts of this book is the culture that is so very evident in it. For instance, the four of them drink more wine than the country of Italy has to offer. For every meal, snack, or tea time they bring out the bottles. This is one of the many humorous things that happen on a regular basis with the musketeers. So, what will happen to the inseparable quartet of musketeers? The only way of finding out is by taking the time and effort and reading it. You will not be disappointed.
This is the translation you want. Most others are obtusely Victorian bowdlerizations. This manages to keep the formality of French but make the characters and story fresh and rollicking ... like the serial it is.
I love epics, and this series is one of my favorites. Though few people may know it, this book is the first in a series of 5 books, the LAST installment being The Man in the Iron Mask. We have been completely duped by Hollywood in accepting that this story is as shallow as a king, his throne and an ambitious cardinal. It is a classic representative of love and honor in times gone by, with more action than verbage-which is a major accomplishment considering the 5 books are literally over 3,000 pages when combined. If you love d'Artangan, follow him through Twenty Years After, The Vicomte de Bragelonne, Lousie de la Valliere and The Man in the Iron Mask. He will never dissappoint!
This is a converted scan of a physical book, with many uncorrected OCR errors. Too much distraction, there are better quality electronic editions freely available
In Alexander Dumas' classic novel, The Three Musketeers, the protagonist is a young Gascon man, D'Artagnan, who leaves his home in search of a career with the Musketeers. He is portrayed as a handsome young man, hotheaded, prideful, intelligent, who cannot stand being insulted. While attempting to enter the Musketeers, he meets three musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. As these four have many adventures together, they become best friends. Athos, the eldest of the four, is portrayed as a handsome, father-like figure to the three. He is also very secretive, never talks of past loves and hides his past behind his drink. The friends all believe he had his heart severely broken and it will never be mended. Porthos is described as an intimidating giant, honest, and enjoying the pleasures of life: wine, women, and music. Aramis is portrayed as a man who loves women and enjoys flirting with them. He dreams one day of retiring from the Musketeers and joining a monastery to spend the rest of his life as a religious man. The main antagonist is Cardinal Richelieu, a corrupt member of the Catholic Church who uses many spies and guards. This is his attempt to defeat the Protestants and anyone else who gets in his attempt to show his dominance over Christianity. Another antagonist is Milady de Winter, who is later revealed to be Athos' ex-wife. She was supposed to be executed but somehow miraculously evaded death. She uses her beauty to seduce men and use them as her wishes. The main conflict is the attempt to conceal the love affair between the Queen of France and the Duke of Buckingham. In the process of hiding the secret, they must find the location of Constance and evade the wrath of Milady de Winter. Action that leads to the climax includes the journey to receive the diamond studs from the Duke of Buckingham. Another example in the climax is the disappearance and quest to locate D'Artagnan's missing lover, Constance. This book was very interesting to read because it has descriptive words to describe the plot with many excellent twists and turns on every page that surprise the reader. I enjoyed reading about D'Artagnan's hotheaded and rash personality, especially when thinks someone has insulted him. For example, when he passes by the town of Meung and sees a man laughing, D'Artagnan assumes that he is amused by his horse and challenges the man to a duel to the death. I also enjoyed the personality of D'Artagnan as he leaves his friends to reach the Duke of Buckingham to save the Queen, and then returns to help each of his friends recover. Another interesting point was when the four decided to have breakfast in the camp of the enemy and talked casually as if nothing was happening as hundreds of soldiers charge the four.
I've only seen the Disney version (the one with Kiefer Sutherland) of this book, so thought I might enjoy it for my classics challenge. Boy, was I surprised. It was not an easy read. It's large and cumbersome. I didn't have to force my way though it, just had to take my time. I was most shocked by the differences. I was under the impression that D'Artagnan was a follower and more of the type to get into trouble. He's actually more of the leader in this book. The musketeers aren't as valiant and courageous as I thought. More along the lines of men who like their women and their wine, and prefer to haggle their way to getting them for free. There wasn't as much suspense, intrigue, coercion, and backstabbing as I anticipated. I was glad when I finished it, but happy I read it
Fits the Era perfectly. Romance, adventure, intrigue.
Young D¿artagnan and his three Musketeer companions are embroiled in a succession of plots instigated by Cardinal Richeleiu and carried out by the infamous `my lady¿ or `her ladyship¿, one of the fiercest and most deceitful female adversaries in literature. I¿m glad I finally got around to reading this... overall, the tale makes for an enjoyable, adventuresome romp¿ not my favourite Dumas, but eminently readable. I found I struggled at first to care about the French politics, but since everything was both necessary to, and interwoven with, the plot, it soon consolidated itself with the rest of the story to become well-paced and dramatic.
Well swash my buckle and buckle my swash!Loved the books and the Oliver Reed/Raquel Welsh films. But more than anything loved the way that Dumas took time to concentrate on the Baroness and created the first, real modern villaness.One of those books which completely surprises you.En guard!
Having only been exposed to the Disney and Dogtanian version of this story, I thought I would undertake to read the real thing. And wow, I wasn't disappointed! According to the introduction, Dumas wrote this book serialised daily, which is quite some feat! It also means that each chapter ends on a cliff-hanger or something else that draws you in to keep reading. Its an exciting, thrilling tale of daring and adventure. Last night I had to stay up late to finish it, despite the fact that I was really tired, as the book progressed towards its inevitably tragic and dramatic climax.Admittedly, the main characters are hardly sympathetic. The musketeers and D'artagnan are all hard-drinking and loose with their money, sponging off their friends and treating their servants with contempt. Their relationships with women are quite cavalier too. The most sympathetic one is Athos, whose past comes back to haunt him and who increasingly occupies a greater role in the story towards the end as he seeks his revenge.Of the baddies, I was a bit disappointed with the cardinal, as he seemed to me to be rather an insipid character, torn between his admiration for the daring feats of the musketeers and his dislike for the fact that they keep undermining his dastardly plots. The best character is definitely Milady, a cold and calculated actress who can twist people round her little finger to do what she wants. Yet even she seems scared of losing the cardinal's favour.This is a brilliantly multi-layered book which, due to the plot full of political machinations, intrigues and secrets, is, at its heart, a damn good read.
This is a classic tale of honor, duty and loyalty. The heroes aren't otherworldly characters, but instead are written to be normal individuals with common problems with only their integrity to set them apart. Even if you know the story, this book is very captivating to the end.
Here's a book that has infiltrated popular culture to a certain extent for over 150 years. I've seen derivative movies, ridden themed amusement rides, shouted 'All for one...!' during heated moments. But I'd never read the book itself.Sure, I can check it off of my 'well read' list now. But the experience, though entertaining for the most part, left me wondering exactly what the big deal is about this novel.I'm going to warrant a guess that it was genre-shaping, and its outright irreverence was probably a kick in the pants to its 19th century audience. Dumas' treatment of illicit affairs is not subtle, and there is raunchy humor sprinkled liberally throughout.This is a boy's novel, thoroughly. Though the main antagonist is a crafty female, the real depth of character is saved for the four heroes (d'Artagnan, Porthos, Athos, Aramis). And it would be an overstatement to call this swashbuckling adventure a character study, anyway.The action is pretty constant, although occasionally formulaic (and thus predictable). Dumas uses patterns that sound poetic or mythic sometimes: a certain adventure befalls each of the four protagonists in rhythmic succession, for example. Something I learned, as an aside: Dumas wrote in tandem with a history teacher, Auguste Maquet, who served as his researcher and did a good amount of the outlining and a bit of the writing.
The Three Musketeers' objective is to entertain; this novel is solid adventure, from first to final page. I expected a more riveting plot, however, and I also hoped for the demonstration of themes worthy of a master author such as Dumas. But it is a book that presents problems that are invariably solved by swordplay. The theme of camaraderie is, of course, ubiquitous, as is the theme of youthful love that continuously vascillates. Quick to read and somewhat amusing. But you won't be exposed to any enduring questions to ponder.
I found a really wonderful translation of Dumas's work hiding in a bookstore in Helsinki, and two days later I was finished. It was so brisk and lively, full of wit and bravado and the kind of coarseness that really illustrates the France of those times. D'Artagnan's adventure is as movingly romantic now as it ever was again, and closing the book afterwards felt like saying goodbye to friends far too soon.
An endless adventure breathlessly moving from one scene to the next: sword-fighting duels, court espionage, sex scandals, poisonings, assassinations, undying love. "Les Trois Mousquetaires" was translated into three English versions by 1846. One of these, by William Barrow, is still in print and fairly faithful to the original, available in the Oxford World's Classics 1999 edition. However all of the explicit and many of the implicit references to sexuality had been removed to conform to 19th century English standards, thus making the scenes between d'Aragnan and Milady, for example, confusing and strange. The most recent and new standard English translation is by award-winning translator Richard Pevear (2006). Pevear says in his translation notes that most of the modern translations available today are "textbook examples of bad translation practices" which "give their readers an extremely distorted notion of Dumas's writing."
I was surprized at how complex and detailed the writting is. Absolutly every thought and movement is stated by the author. And the vocabulary was huge. I was thinking about how many more words people knew one hundred years ago.
This book is the adventures of d'Artagnan and is friends Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. Together the live by the motto "all for one, and one for all" and protect the rulers of France from the evil Cardinal Richelieu.This story has a little bit of everything, action, adventure, romance, comedy, it just a fun read all around.I would use this book in a unit on French literature or in conjunction with a unit on medieval romances as it shares many of the same themes as they have.
This is one of the longest books I have read lately. At first it was a little intimidating but when I finally got the courage to start reading it I discovered that it's fast paced and couldn't stop reading. This book is full of action, the events are cleverly interwoven to make a complex plot of friendship, loyalty, romance, adventure and suspense. I found the characters to be all so fascinating, it starts with the great D'Artagnan whose hot hotheadedness accounts for most of the adventures and which leads him to meet with the famous three musketeers, Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Once they are sworn as friends the four men become inseparable and live by their motto "all for one, one for all", they demonstrate loyalty for each other until the end. I recently learned that Alexandre Dumas wrote two more books to follow this one, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte De Bragelonne, the three books are also known as the D'Artagnan Romances. This made me curious to get hold of the next books and find out what happened after The Three Musketeers. With every classic that I read I realize that these books truly deserve to be called classics and why I should really read more of them.
This is a well-known story so I won't bore you with rehashing the tale. I have been trying in the last few years to read Classics that I have on my shelf and never cracked open. This was one that I chose for this year and several other readers joined me in a group read. I have to admit that I thought I knew the story because I had seen the movies (both versions) and I thought they probably didn't range too far from the book but I was wrong. I found as I was reading this over two months that it took me to places that I hadn't seen in either movie and character depths that were unexplored came to life. I'm not someone that normally enjoys the Classics, but this was an exception.
I'm sure most people are familiar with the story line of The Three Musketeers from hollywood movies, but what you don't get in the movies is Dumas' wonderful dry wit. This book is an excellent read, and if you are willing to push through some of the dry parts you will be amply rewarded with an exciting tale.
A must-read, at least once. I'm not terribly fond of Dumas' style of writing, but it is a lot more readable than some of his era. The story is a classic & has been rehashed so many times that it is really worth seeing what everyone has begged, borrowed & stolen over the years. I've read it twice & may read it again before I die, but probably only once more.
Built on the ridiculous, the humorous, the exciting, and deeply in the characters, this work creates a world of romance (in that oh-so-classic sense) and adventure which conscripts the reader and delivers him to the front lines. I am alway amazed by this book's ability to invoke lust, pity, wonder, respect, scorn, and hatred, all while driving along a plot filled with new events and characters.Should there be any future for Fantasy, it lies not in the hands of Tolkien-copying machines, nor even in Moorecock's 'un-fantasy', but in whatever writer can capture Beowulf, The Aeneid, The Three Musketeers, or The White Company and make a world which is exciting not because everything is magical and strange, but because everything is entirely recognizable, but much stranger. Of course, one may want to avoid going Mervyn Peake's route with this, and take a lesson from the driving plot and carefree frivolity that Dumas Pere and his innumerable ghostwriters adhered to.It is amusing here to note that Dumas has accredited to his name far more books than he is likely to have ever written. As he was paid for each book with his name on it, he made a sort of 'writing shop' where he would dictate plots, characters, or sometimes just titles to a series of hired writers and let them fill in the details.So, praises be to Dumas or whichever of his unrecognized hirees wrote such a work.
Great adventure story! Though I didn't like it as much as The Count of Monte Cristo.
This was one of those classics I elected to listen to on audio and I'm so happy I did. I loved sitting back and being told this story about the one-for-all-and-all-for-one guys. Funny, smart -- one of the better classics I've experienced. Political intrigue, romance, humor, history -- I really enjoyed reading the story. I also rented the movie with Michael York, Richard Chamberlain, Raquel Welch, Oliver Reed, Charleton Heston and Faye Dunaway having vague but fond memories of it. It didn't match up to my memories, but it was still fun to see it again after having read the book.If a classic is on your need-to-read list, pick this one.
It's not every day I stop while reading a book to say to myself: "Wow. I'm really having a lot of fun." This book and the sequels are a great time.