Top Fives #1: Musketeer Novels

“The Three Musketeers” has become as much a common phrase as it is the title of a novel by Alexandre Dumas.  However, The Three Musketeers is not the only novel that Dumas wrote about the exploits of D’Artagnan, Aramis, Porthos and Athos, although it remains the best known.  The Man in the Iron Mask forms the final part of the Musketeer cycle of books, and it is preceded by the lesser known Twenty Years After, The Vicomte de Bragelonne and Louise de la Vallière.

Further novels, featuring the characters created by Dumas include The Sons of Porthos, D’Artagnan Kingmaker, The King’s Passport, and D’Artagnan: the sequel to the Three Musketeers.

The Dumas novels are all absolutely ripping yarns, however it is Twenty Years After, which is at the head of my personal top five, combining swashbuckling action with political intrigue on both sides of the English Channel, set in a France in the midst of the Franco-Spanish War, and an England locked in a Civil War fought between the armies loyal to King Charles I and those supporting Oliver Cromwell.

Dumas cleverly recounts human stories and personal emotions against this grand backcloth of history and, in the characters of his musketeers displays humour and friendship; honour and vulnerability.

A fantastically entertaining cycle of novels.

© Fergus Longfellow

Fergus-counts-to-five

Fergus Longfellow ranks the Musketeer novels in order of his personal preference.

  1. Twenty Years After
  2. The Three Musketeers
  3. The Vicomte de Bragelonne
  4. The Man in the Iron Mask
  5. Louise de la Vallière

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