The Three Musketeers

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The Three Musketeers





Red 4 12-17-01
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. (novel)

Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are also based on real Musketeers. Porthos was Isaac de Portau,
a member of the Captain des Essarts's company of the King's Guards until 1643, and then a
Musketeer with d'Artagnan. Aramis was Henry d'Aramitz, related to Monsieur de Treville, he
was a Musketeer from 1640 and on, we know little of him beyond that. Athos was Armand de
Sillegue, also related to Treville. He was a King's Musketeer who died in Paris in 1643,
but little is known beyond that, there is some proof on his death certificate that he died
as a result of a duel.(history pg. 3)

The major historical figures in the novel are all more or less accurate, in terms of the
basic facts presented. Louis XIII, Anne of Austria, Cardinal Richelieu, and Monsieur de
Treville are all presented without any historical inaccuracies. And there were indeed,
King's Musketeers under Louis XIII, they existed as a sort of training ground for the
elite of the French army, and served as the King's personal escort in peacetime. Treville
and the Cardinal were great enemies, as Dumas portrays them, in fact, Treville was
involved in a 1642 plot to assassinate the Cardinal, and Louis XIII was forced to banish
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