The Four Musketeers: The True Story of D'Artagnan, Porthos, Aramis & Athos Paperback – Aug 1 2005
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About the Author
Kari Maund is a professional historian and writer, her other books include The Welsh Kings also published by Tempus. Phil Nanson is an amateur military historian who trained as a blacksmith and armourer. They both live in Cambridge.
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The next chapter relays what we know from historical evidence about Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. It turns out we know very little about Armand de Sillegue d'Athos d'Autevielle who died mysteriously in 1642 at the age of 20 or so. The authors speculate that he may have died in a duel or from a criminal assault in a highly dangerous Paris. Isaac de Porthau came from a wealthy family and returned to his family's home. Henri d'Aramitz came from a family that could trace its nobility back several centuries. He too served and returned to his family's estates.
The next chapter discusses the history of the musketeers as a miltary organization from its inception until its dissolution.
Another chapter relates the life of Gatien Courtilz de Sandras, the writer who wrote the so-called memoirs of D'Artagnan 27 years after the latter's death. He included the names Athos, Porthos, and Aramis as well as a mention of an Englishwoman he called Miledi in these phony memoirs. Perhaps, Sandras picked up these names from his conversations with two former companions of D'Artagnan's, Besmaux and Saint-Mars. The latter two were governors of the Bastille where Sandras was imprisoned during 1693-99.
Alexandre Dumas' life is also related in a subsequent chapter along with a discussion of how he used researchers and collaborators to help draw up his story. Dumas used the memoirs of D'Artagnan among other documents and memoirs to put together the tales in the novel. It turns out most of the story is true in the sense that the events happened to someone, just not D'Artagnan or his friends.
The book closes with a survey of sequels by other authors as well as plays and movies that continue the legend of the musketeers. The book also has black-and-white and color photos of places, paintings, engravings, and items relevant to the text. It is is highly readable but the authors could have taken some care proofreading the text, particularly dates in the life of D'Artagnan, i.e, 1566 instead of 1656, ninety years makes a difference.