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. Soon part of their close band, 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 nineteenth-century tale of friendship and adventure, 'The Three Musketeers' continues to be one of the most influential and popular pieces of French literature.
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The novel follows events in France during the Fronde, during the childhood reign of Louis XIV, and in England near the end of the English Civil War, leading up to the victory of Oliver Cromwell and the execution of King Charles I. Through the words of the main characters, particularly Athos, Dumas comes out on the side of the monarchy in general, or at least the text often praises the idea of benevolent royalty. His musketeers are valiant and just in their efforts to protect young Louis XIV and the doomed Charles I from their attackers.
Set in the 17th century, it recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan (based on Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan) after he leaves home to travel to Paris, to join the Musketeers of the Guard. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those being his friends Athos, Porthos and Aramis, inseparable friends who live by the motto "one for all, all for one" ("un pour tous, tous pour un"), a motto which is first put forth by d'Artagnan.
In genre, The Three Musketeers is primarily a historical novel and adventure. However, Dumas also frequently works into the plot various injustices, abuses and absurdities of the old regime, giving the novel an additional political aspect at a time when the debate in France between republicans and monarchists was still fierce. The story was first serialized from March to July 1844, during the July Monarchy, four years before the French Revolution of 1848 violently established the Second Republic. The author's father, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, had been a well-known General in France's Republican army during the French Revolutionary Wars.
The story of d'Artagnan is continued in Twenty Years After and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. Those three novels by Dumas are together known as the d'Artagnan Romances.
This beautiful, abridged Macmillan Collector's Library edition of The Count of Monte Cristo features an afterword by Marcus Clapham.
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The main plot line, involving fictional characters, takes place in the following eighteen months; only gradually does the reader understand its connection with the killing of the de Witt brothers.
The city of Haarlem, Netherlands, has set a prize of ƒ100,000 to the person who can grow a black tulip, sparking competition between the country's best gardeners to win the money, honour and fame. Only the city's oldest citizens remember the Tulip Mania thirty years prior, and the citizens throw themselves into the competition. The young and bourgeois Cornelius van Baerle has almost succeeded but is suddenly thrown into the Loevestein prison. There he meets the prison guard's beautiful daughter Rosa, who will be his comfort and help, and eventually become his rescuer.
The novel was originally published in three volumes in 1850 as La Tulipe Noire by Baudry (Paris).
The story takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815–1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. It begins just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It centres around a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty. In addition, it is a story that involves romance, loyalty, betrayal, and selfishness, shown throughout the story as characters slowly reveal their true inner nature.
The book is considered a literary classic today. According to Luc Sante, "The Count of Monte Cristo has become a fixture of Western civilization's literature, as inescapable and immediately identifiable as Mickey Mouse, Noah's flood, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood."
He crushes his enemies in Paris. Then, he reveals his true identity to all of them. This is probably the best novel of Alexandre Dumas.
The original flavour of these classics has been carefully retained in these abridged versions.
Once there you can hire or purchase a horse. If you wish to hire a horse you can do so for five francs a-day; if you purchase one you can have a good animal for one hundred and fifty francs. And don't sneer at the moderate price, for the horse hired or purchased will perform as great feats as the famous Gascon horse which leaped over the Pont Neuf, which neither Prospero nor Nautilus, the heroes of Chantilly and the Champ de Mars could do. He will traverse roads which Balmat himself could not cross without _crampons,_ and will go over bridges upon which Auriol would need a balancing pole.
As for the traveller, all he has to do is to give the horse his head and let him go as he pleases; he does not mind the danger. We may add that with this horse, which can go anywhere, the traveller can accomplish his fifteen leagues a day without stopping to bait.
From time to time, while the tourist may be halting to examine some ancient castle, built by some old baron or legendary hero, or to sketch a tower built ages ago by the Genoese, the horse will be contented to graze by the road side, or to pluck the mosses from the rocks in the vicinity....
The novel first appeared in serialised form in La Presse. The story takes place between 1784 and 1785.
This novel presents an idealized portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette, but it also shows the decadence of the nobility of the time, with its ending seeming to suggest the "beginning of the end" of the nobility.