King Louis XIII & Queen Anne of France

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King & Country

As portrayed by Dumas in the novel Louis XIII is a weak and indecisive monarch easily manipulated by his chief minister, Cardinal Richlieu. In reality Louis was more taciturn and suspicious by nature however he did rely heavily on his ministers, particularly ‘The Red Eminence’, Richlieu. During and after his life there were strong rumours about Louis XIII’s sexual preferences which, if true, might explain his wife’s attraction to the Duke of Buckingham.

Anne of Austria followed the long tradition of cementing military and political alliances between Catholic countries with royal marriages. Her marriage to Louis was only briefly happy and the King’s frequent absences often kept them apart which might also explain her attachment to George Villiers (The Duke of Buckingham). She did however eventually give birth to a son, Louis XIV, the future ‘Sun King’.

Alexander Dumas’ historical adventure novel recounts the many adventures of a young D’Artagnan as he travels to Paris to join the Musketeers of the King’s Guard. Along the way he befriends the three most formidable members of the Musketeers and finds himself involved in great affairs of the state and the court. Among the great and the not-so-good he and his ‘Three Musketeers’ encounter are both the fictional and historical characters that inhabit the novel. Here are some of the actual historical personages that feature in the story.