Exceptionally famous and inspiring not only two sequels but Hollywood and television adaptations, Dumas’ novel The Three Musketeers - published 1844-5 - remains extremely popular and influential to this day. It is the story of a young Gascon gentleman, D’Artagnan, who sets out to Paris with only an old horse, his father’s letter of recommendation to the head of the King’s Musketeers and a recipe for a miracle wound-healing salve. Although D’Artagnan loses the letter and sells the horse he is allowed entrance into the Musketeers but must wait an interminably long time to join in full. During this time he tactlessly insults three of the musketeers who challenge him to duels at hourly intervals the next day which he attends showing great courage. When they are warned by the Cardinal’s Guards of a law against duelling the musketeers and D’Artagnan join together and easily defeat their provocateurs. The youth is accepted into Athos, Porthos and Aramis’ ranks and they become inseparable friends despite the three musketeers’ faults of melancholy, pride and religious hypocrisy respectively. We learn of the rivalry between the king, Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu - the strongest man in the kingdom. The story follows the four friends’ heroism even in saving an Englishman (Buckingham) and acting valiantly at every opportunity until we learn whether or not D’Artagnan will become a true musketeer.