The Three Musketeers (Les Trois mousquetaires) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It recounts the adventures of a young man called D'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a musketeer. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

The story of D'Artagnan is continued in Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne. Those three novels by Dumas are together known as D'Artagnan Romances.

The Three Musketeers was first published in serial form in the magazine Le Siècle between March and July 1844. Dumas claimed it was based on manuscripts he had discovered in the Bibliothèque Nationale. It was proved Dumas based his work on the apocryphal book Mémoires de Monsieur d'Artagnan, capitaine lieutenant de la première compagnie des Mousquetaires du Roi (Memories of Mister D'Artagnan, Lieutenant Captain of the first company of the King's Musketeers) by Gatien de Courtilz (Cologne, 1700). The book was borrowed in the Marseilles public library, and the card-index remains to this day (Dumas kept the book when he went back to Paris).

It covers the adventures of D'Artagnan and his friends in 1625, as they are involved in intrigues involving the weak King Louis XIII of France, his powerful and cunning advisor Cardinal Richelieu, the beautiful Queen Anne of Austria, her English lover, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, and the siege of the rebellious Huguenot city of La Rochelle.

The novel has been filmed many times. Notable film versions include:

  • Les Trois mousquetaires (1921) - a French silent film version featuring Aimé Simon-Girard as D'Artagnan and Claude Mérelle as Milady de Winter. A blockbuster of its day, which spawned a number of sequels (an adaptation of Twenty Years After was released the following year); remade as a talkie in 1933 with the same director and many of the same cast.
  • The Three Musketeers (1921) - a silent film version starring Douglas Fairbanks, Sr
  • The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974) - a more-than-usually-complete adaptation directed by Richard Lester from a screenplay by George MacDonald Fraser; starring Michael York as D'Artagnan, Oliver Reed as Athos, Frank Finlay as Porthos, Richard Chamberlain as Aramis, Charlton Heston as Richelieu, Faye Dunaway as Milady de Winter, and Raquel Welch as Constance Bonacieux.
    The team reassembled fifteen years later for a film version of Twenty Years After, released in 1989 under the title The Return of the Musketeers.

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