Alexandre Dumas

Playwright and novelist Alexandre Dumas is so irrevocably linked in my mind with images of pre-Revolutionary France that it’s always a shock to remember that he actually wrote his books in the middle of the 19th century. Dumas was the author of numerous historical adventure stories, including The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Queen Margot.

Dumas was the grandson of a French Marquis and a black former slave, Marie-Cesette Dumas. By the time young Dumas was born his family had lost all pretensions to wealth, and his widowed mother struggled to give him a decent education. Despite his difficult childhood, Dumas rapidly achieved success as a playwright and novelist, and by the 1840s he was happily churning out tales of high adventure for the masses.

Note: Dumas, like so many other famous male authors, wasn’t too hot on marital fidelity. He had at least three illegitimate children.

Note #2: Due to his mixed-race heritage, Dumas suffered from racism all his life—actually, he suffered from racism even after his life. It wasn’t until 2002 that his body was deemed worthy to be exhumed and re-buried in the Pantheon of Paris alongside fellow French literary figures Voltaire and Victor Hugo.

Dumas relied heavily on ghostwriters, researchers, and assistants. The best known of these was a man named Auguste Manquet, whose contributions included the outline for The Count of Monte Cristo and sections of The Three Musketeers. While Dumas made no secret of this, I’ve always felt that it wasn’t fair that his minions didn’t get more of the credit.


Other Recommendations:
The Scarlet Pimpernel, by the Baroness Orczy

The Talisman Ring, by Georgette Heyer

The Pink Carnation series, by Lauren Willig
Posted by: Julia


Rafin R. Mena
Rafin R. Mena
21 Sep, 2013 12:43 AM

New historical novel by Rafin R. Mena on the life of Marie Cesette Dumas and her son: General Thomas Alexander de la Pelleterie, the first mixed race General in Europe, during the Napoleonic period. It enters in detail in their lives while in Jeremie, during the period when Haiti was the most prosperous sophisticated and advanced colony in the New World. The discovery of a number of letters found by one of the descendants of Marie Cesette, between Marquise De la Pelleiterie and a sister living in Martinique at the time, provided and unbelievable source for details of this critical and astonishing moment in Haitian history, not found in history books or elsewhere. The novel also covers the interesting aspects of the so called Bois Caiman conjure when Dutty Bookman, summoned the slaves to start the foiled revolution. Toussaint L’overture’s role and due recognition as one of the most significant personality in the New World’s development in republican democracy is finally presented. Plus enters into an astonishing discovery in a cave up in the mountains of Templar monks’ burials, and a number of parchments and very old documents, which later linked Genera Dumas to the Templar’s secrets. The voodoo culture is explained and put in proper perspective vis a vis the Revolution. This Novel is available at Amazons/Kindle Books in the English Language.

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