The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

A frolicking and rather preposterous classic tale of romance, gallantry, bravery and vengeance set in 17th century France (and England). D’Artagnan and his three friends Aramis, Athos and Porthos are never shy of a duel or some undercover mission and, although their own morals are questionable, they always fight for justice and always emerge (almost) unscathed from whatever scrape they fall into.

This book contains vivid descriptions, clever character studies and rich prose. It is extremely well researched and thus a useful historical source document, bringing to life the characters of Louis XIII, his Queen Anne of Austria, Lord Buckingham and the Cardinal de Richelieu, among others, and setting the scene around the fateful Siege of La Rochelle in 1627-28, in which the royal forces finally defeated the Huguenots. The Dramatis Personae and abundant footnotes in this version translated by Lawrence Ellsworth add to the value.

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