Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Having started fencing in the past year, I decided that I needed to read some novels with fencing as a main theme. Where better to start than with the famous classic "The Three Musketeers". I downloaded and audio copy from my library and followed the many adventures of the four men.

This is such a well known novel that I'm going to assume you know the basic plot. The King of France, Louis Thirteen is on the throne, Anne of Austria is his wife, and Cardinal Richelieu is at the head of the church. The King's guards are headed by M. de Treville and the Cardinal has his own guards who ever seem to be in opposition to M. de Trevillle. D'Artagnan has travelled to Paris to seek out M. de Treville in order to petition to join the guards. If you want to know details of the plot and other than main character, please visit the Wikipedia site.

D'Artagnan seemed to me to embody all the good that one might hope to find in a young man. He was intelligent, generous, kind and chivalrous. I loved each of his companions, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. The other character who most caught my attention was Lady de Winter. She was the most despicable character I have encountered in many a book. As I was listening to the audio, I would mutter to no one in particular, "Kill the Bitch, stab her through her black heart'. It was my daughter who pointed out to me that the author must have been a really good writer to have created such a character that I could hate her that much.

I did have some interesting discussions at fencing class. I wanted to know if a fencer could sustain multiple thrusts through his body and live to fight another day. My coach determined that it would depend on where the hit occurred. That many would indeed be survivable barring infection.

This was a very long book (over 20 hours audio), but definitely worth the read. Now on with my quest to find more fencing novels.


Dorte H said...

What a good idea to read novels that include your hobby. I don´t recall any on fencing, though, apart from Hamlet :D

(M)ary said...

"This is such a well known novel that I'm going to assume you know the basic plot."

Exactly why I avoid reading The Three Musketeers. There are some classics which, rightly or wrongly, I think I already know by heart because I have seen the plot so much in pop culture.

Books with fencing...this is a challenge. I worked in the book business for 11 years. When I was a clerk in the store, I LOVED customers who would come in with requests such as this.

I will put my Boolean search skills to use and see if I can come up with some fencing novel recommendations.

(M)ary said...

here are a few suggestions from my google searches...

Clube Dumas and The Fencing Master by Arturo Perez-Reverte

(Armed and Dangerous...a fantasy book series with a sword weilding heroine.)


Phillip Craig A Vineyard Killing per Mr Craig's obit "his fencing knowledge shows up in his 2003 novel A Vineyard Killing"

Sherrie said...

Hi Heather,
I have never read this book. But have seen so many movies of it I don't really think I could read the book. I'll have to give it a try and see what happens. Love your scarf, it's very pretty!! I have an award for you over at my place, Just Books. You can come by and pick it up any time. Have a great day!!


Heather said...

I have to admit that prior to reading this book I really didn't know anything about the story line and I had only seen bits and pieces of the movie(s) based on it. I am so glad that I finally listened to the whole thing. thanks so much for the book suggestions. I'll note them down and look forward to reading them.

Jill said...

I read this book in the 7th grade after seeing the Michael York version of the film on TV and falling in love with the characters. The novel was so gripping and surprisingly accessible (particularly to a 7th grader!). I've been thinking of giving it a reread some time. I'm glad you enjoyed it!