Today is the birthday of one of my favorite authors, Alexandre Dumas (24 July, 1802 – 5 December, 1870). Mr. Dumas, a French author, is well known for his adventurous and imaginative stories.
“Gill – Dumas Père” by André Gill –
Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
- The author’s father, also named Alexandre Dumas, was a bastard child of a French aristocrat and rose to be a general in Napoleon’s army at the age of 31 (read my review of his wonderful biography The Black Count).
- Duma’s father birth name was the Marquis Alexandre Antoine Davy de La Pailleterie. Thomas-Alexandre took the name Dumas when he enlisted in Napoleon’s army, where he acquired the nickname “Black Devil.”
- In France General Alexandre Dumas is called Dumas père to distinguish him from his son, the famous author, known as Dumas
- In 1830 Alexandre Dumas worked as a scribe for duc d’Orléans who later became King Louis Philippe.
- Dumas was a prolific writer of essays, short stories and novels, as well as plays and travelogues.
- The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo were both originally published as serials.
- With the profits from his books, Dumas built a home in Port Marly, Yvelines, France aptly named Château de Monte Cristo (it is now a museum).
- The author was forced to sell his home in 1851 and flee away from his debtors to Belgium and to Russia.
- A true author, Dumas published travelogues on Russia during his exile.
- Even though he was a very successful author, Dumas died in poverty.
Zohar – Man of la Book