The Three Musketeers & Alexandre Dumas

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The Three Musketeers & Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas’s novels and in particular The Three Musketeers are so great for his ability to mix fact with fiction. As a historical novel, The Three Musketeers bases its story around some major characters and events of 17th century, French history. Cardinal Richelieu, Anne of Austria, and other important characters really lived and acted the way they do in the novel. In fact, the historical basis of Dumas's story extends all the way to his initial idea for the novel, even to the Musketeers and d’Artagnan themselves.(history 1)

The Three Musketeers is inspired by a 17th century work entitled Memoires de d'Artagnan by Gatien de Cortilz de Sandras, which Dumas stumbled across in his research. This work became an outline for part I of The Three Musketeers. At the time, Dumas did not believe that the Cortilz novel was historical, but thought he was simply plagiarizing and developing a previous writer's work. But Dumas claimed in his original introduction to The Three Musketeers that he thought the work was historical.(history 2)

D’Artagnan the hero of The Three Musketeers, was really Charles de Batz-Castelmore, and hailed from Gascony, just as Dumas writes. He left Gascony not in 1625, as in the novel, but in 1640. He had a great career not under Louis XIII and Richelieu, but under their successors Mazarin and Louis XIV and he rose through the ranks to great distinction until he died in service in 1673 at the Siege of Maestricht...

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