Is the Three Musketeers a true story or not?


 drawing of the Three Musketersa plus one, with thier swords in the air

Well, you have to decide, and to help we have made Alexandre Dumas’s famous tale The Three Musketeers into a rollicking foot tapping 50 minute musical so your children can enjoy performing as a year-end show.

Boy before the King in performance in BristolThe story, which is set in France during the 1620s, is about chivalry, honour, and most of all adventure.

But, what very few people know is that it is based on real live people. All Alexandre Dumas did was to take real characters and weave them into a great story.

The musical takes those rich characters the romantic heroes, kings, queens, cavaliers, and criminals into an adventure that includes conspiracy, murder, vengeance, love, scandal, and most of all suspense.

So, were they real people?

Yes, Alexandra Dumas based his story around true characters of the time.

There was even a d’Artagnan, not one but two!

Yes, there was a real , albeit 20 years later, in fact, there were two!  One became the Captain of the Musketeers and the other, his cousin, a Marshal of France!

What about the Musketeers?

Yes, the three musketeers who became d’Artagnan’s friends and are an essential part of the story were also based on real people.   D’Artagnan wrote in his diary the Captain of the Musketeers,about how on his first visit he met the Captain of the Musketeers. You guessed it, his name was M. de Treville, and in the anti-room he met three young musketeers called Athos, Porthos and Aramis. They were all real people!

The link to history

Alexandre Dumas wrote this story around these famous characters

  • Cardinal Richelieu, who constantly fought with the Queen
  • The Duke of Buckingham (King Charles I of England’s first minister
  • King Louis XIII
  • Anne of Austria, the Queen

From these characters of history, he wove a story of trickery and scheming that included stolen diamonds, masked balls, and, of course, swordplay, a great story.  He then added a female villain, the sinister Milady de Winter, as spy for Cardinal Richelieu, one of the dominant baddies in the story.

The Musical

Stuarts Primary History Resource shwing the front page of The Three MusketeersThis great story has so many links to history that we decided to publish The Three Musketeers – The Queen’s Diamonds, as an ideal end of term show.  It is a musical that brings to life the intriguing and romantic court of Louis XIII, with a difference as this time the baddie is a female, the sinister Milady de Winter.

To read two pages of script and listen to two of the songs please go

Let’s make history fun!


10 questions to discuss:

      1. What time period does “The Three Musketeers” take place in?
      2. Who wrote the original tale of “The Three Musketeers”?
      3. How does Alexandre Dumas incorporate real historical figures into his story?
      4. Who were the three musketeers and what were their real-life counterparts’ names?
      5. Who was the Captain of the Musketeers, as depicted in the story?
      6. What role did Cardinal Richelieu play in the narrative?
      7. Who was the Duke of Buckingham, and what real-life position did he hold?
      8. Describe the character of Milady de Winter and her role in the story.
      9. What are some key themes explored in “The Three Musketeers”?
      10. How does Alexandre Dumas’ adaptation of real historical events add depth to the story?


A few more sites to give more information: