The Three Musketeers is considered an innovation in the literary world because it was the first of its kind to combine elements of history and Romance in a single story. The author, Alexandre Dumas was a gifted and talented storyteller despite the limited education he got from his childhood. His fascination with history and his passion for reading slowly helped him gain his widespread renown in the world of literature. He was a brilliant storyteller and has an outgoing and adventurous personality – elements of an innovative writer.
Fiction works are not new during the time of Dumas. There are already many works of fiction that preceded his works, but they remained strictly in the bounds of that genre. The same went for historical novels. Authors of historical novels stayed inside the prescribed line of the genre of historical novel. Romance has been an element of early works of fiction. This is not the romance we now equate with love stories and novels. The early Romance novels had the elements of a quest, love, immorality, chivalry and religion.
One innovation Dumas made was the prose he used in the story. He chose not to go along with the convention of using outdated or archaic language in his novels. He chose the modern, conversational prose to more vividly describe the characters, situations and settings in the story. Thus, the story is given more importance than the history surrounding. People can identify more with the characters when their dialogues and descriptions are written in a conversational manner. Nevertheless, Dumas did not discard the importance of history in his novel. He ingeniously fused history behind the conversational narrative and thus kept the readers glued to the pages without realizing they are reading a history novel.
Another innovation Dumas brought to the literary word was to fuse history and fictional adventure together in a way that modernized the historical novel. Dumas was keenly aware of conventions of historical novels (slow pace, labored historicity and archaic prose), but he was adventurous and brave to try out something new in his writings. He incorporated Romance, the precursor to our adventure fiction novels, into his historical novels. He removed the sluggish narrative pace of historical novels and used modern and conversational narrative to better depict his characters, the setting and the plot of the story. He infused fast-paced action and adventure into his narratives and all the while keeping the historical aspect of his novel alongside the narrative to remove monotony and slow transition of stories, which can bore the readers.
His innovation with the novel The Three Musketeers and its sequels gave the readers of his time a refreshing alternative to their regular reading materials. His novels brought the readers to a different time and place filled with stories of adventure, love, chivalry, villainy and religion – the staple of stories during his time – and provided a means of temporary escape from the tumultuous reality of 19th century France. His novels also cleverly points out the excesses, abuses and absurdity of the old regime, which he shares with the sentiment of the common people of his time. The struggle between the monarchists and republicans of France was still fierce during his time and thus, his novels had political undertones cleverly hidden in a mix of humorous, adventurous and serious narratives. These innovations are what made his novels well-loved until today.