'D'Artagnan lunged at him with such a furious thrust that, if he had not made a quick leap backwards, he would probably have joked for the last time'
‘D’Artagnan lunged at him with such a furious thrust that, if he had not made a quick leap backwards, he would probably have joked for the last time’
Young D’Artagnan arrives in Paris to join the King’s elite guards, but almost immediately finds he is duelling with some of the very men he has come to swear allegiance to – Porthos, Athos and Aramis, inseparable friends: the Three Musketeers. But D’Artagnan’s loyalty to his new allies puts him in the deadly path of Cardinal Richlieu’s machinations, and when the young hero falls in love with the beautiful but inaccessible Constance, he finds himself in a world of murder, conspiracy and lies, with only the Musketeers to depend on. A stirring tale of friendship and adventure, The Three Musketeers continues to be one of the most influential and popular pieces of French literature.
In this acclaimed new translation, Richard Pevear’s introduction investigates the controversy of Dumas’ literary collaborators, and how important serialisation was to the book’s success. This edition also includes notes on the text.
About the Author
Alexandre Dumas (1824-95) was a pioneer of the Romantic theatre in France, for which he wrote a series of colourful historical dramas, although it is as a novelist that he is best known today. His works include The Three Musketeers (1844-5), La Reine Margot (1845).
Alexandre Dumas was born in 1802 at Villers-Cotterêts. His father, the illegitimate son of a marquis, was a general in the Revolutionary armies, but died when Dumas was only four. He was brought up in straitened circumstances and received very little education. He joined the household of the future king, Louis-Philippe, and began reading voraciously. Later he entered the cénacle of Charles Nodier and started writing.
In 1829 the production of his play, Henri III et sa Cour, heralded twenty years of successful playwriting. In 1839 he turned his attention to writing historical novels, often using collaborators such as Auguste Maquet to suggest plots or historical background. His most successful novels are The Count of Monte Cristo, which appeared during 1844-5, and The Three Musketeers, published in 1844. Other novels deal with the wars of religion and the Revolution. Dumas wrote many of these for the newspapers, often in daily instalments, marshalling his formidable energies to produce ever more in order to pay off his debts. In addition, he wrote travel books, children's stories and his Mémoires which describe most amusingly his early life, his entry into Parisian literary circles and the 1830 Revolution. He died in 1870.