A while ago I had occasion to check out the Wikipedia entry for The Three Musketeers, and one of the things I saw in there was that the definitive translation is one that was only done a few years ago, by a guy named Richard Pevear. And all this time I had been reading inferior translations! So I got it out from the library and am reading it. Haven’t noticed any striking differences, but once I’m done I’ll compare it against my copy and see what I can see.
It’s weird to think of myself as a sophisticated enough reader that I care about what translation something is. But I once rejected a copy of Cyrano de Bergerac because the poems weren’t like I remembered from when I took it in school. And the first copy of The Three Musketeers I ever had, I got rid of because it referred to “Milady” as “my lady”, which doesn’t work for me at all.
If you’ve never read it, it comes with my highest recommendation. Let me put it this way. I lent my copy to a friend once, and he was only halfway through it when he said that it had already been entertaining enough to be worth it. It’s just one of the best books ever.
If you’ve already read it, and liked it, here are some of the other things you could read after that:
Twenty Years After and The Viscount of Bragelonne and Louise de la Valliere and The Man in the Iron Mask, by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust
The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
…other stuff too, but those are the obvious ones. Anybody have any other suggestions? I’m always on the lookout for more swashbuckling stories.