The Three Musketeers (French: Les Trois Mousquetaires) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père, first serialized in March–July 1844. Set in the 17th century, it recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a guard of the musketeers. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, inseparable friends who live by the motto "all for one, one for all" ("tous pour un, un pour tous").
The fictional characters of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are very loosely based on the historical musketeers Armand de Sillègue d'Athos d'Autevielle, Isaac de Porthau, and Henri d'Aramitz.
Various copies and adaptations of The Three Musketeers were smuggled to Cardinal Richelieu from Grantville. Richelieu was not offended by his depiction in Dumas' works, as he was used to the tactic of antagonizing ones' enemies. He tried to compare himself and his likeness to the actors Charlton Heston and Tim Curry, both of whom played Richelieu on film. He preferred Charlton Heston.
The book also inspired Richelieu to elevate the young and low ranked Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan into Musketeer of the Guards.