One of France's best-selling writers at the time of the novel's composition, Dumas here combines what he considered to be life's essentials - `l'action et l'amour'. This historical romance is the climax of his epic of chivalry and valour that began with The Three Musketeers, and it is here that Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and their friend d'Artagnan, once invincible, meet their destinies. This edition provides background information and notes crucial to an understanding of the legend and the novel's setting. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.