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Encyclopedia > Alexandre Dumas, père

Alexandre Dumas, père, born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie (July 24, 1802December 5, 1870), is best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him the most widely read French author in the world. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo and the D'Artagnan Romances, were serialized, and he also wrote plays, magazine articles, and was a prolific correspondent. Dumas was a quadroon, and suffered from racism during his lifetime. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... July 24 is the 205th day (206th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 160 days remaining. ... 1802 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... December 5 is the 339th day (340th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1870 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... A historical novel is a novel in which the story is set among historical events, or more generally, where the time the action takes place in predates the time of the first publication -- distinguish and contrast the genre of alternate history. ... The word author has several meanings: The author of a book, story, article or the like, is the person who has written it (or is writing it). ... The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. ... The dArtagnan Romances are a set of three novels by Alexandre Dumas telling the story of the musketeer dArtagnan from his humble beginnings in Gascony to his death as a marshal of France in the siege of Maastricht in 1673. ... Note: This article is about serials in literature and the audio-visual media. ... A play (noun) is a common form of literature, usually consisting chiefly of dialog between characters, and usually intended for performance rather than reading. ... Article may refer to the following: in grammar: a specific particle of speech. ... Correspondence may refer to: In the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg, correspondence is the relationship between spiritual and physical realities. ... Quadroon is a term derived from the Spanish language word cuarterón, from cuarto, quarter, from Latin quartus. ... An African-American drinks out of a water cooler designated for use by colored patrons in 1939 at a streetcar terminal in Oklahoma City. ...

Contents

Origins and early life

While his grandfather, Marquis Antoine-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, served the government of France as General Commissaire in the Artillery in the colony of Saint Domingue (now Haiti), he married Marie-Céssette Dumas, a black slave. In 1762, she gave birth to his father, Thomas-Alexandre, and died soon thereafter. A marquess is a nobleman of hereditary rank in Europe China and Japan. ...


When the Marquis and his young mulatto son returned to Normandy, slavery still existed, so the boy suffered as a result of being half black. In 1786, Thomas-Alexandre joined the French army, but to protect the aristocratic family's reputation, he enlisted using his mother's maiden name. Following the Revolution in France, the Marquis lost his estates, but Thomas-Alexandre Dumas distinguished himself as a capable and daring soldier in the revolutionary army, rising through the ranks to become a General by the age of 31. Representation of Mulattos during the Latin American colonial period Mulatto (also Mulato) is a term of Spanish and/or Portuguese origin describing first-generation offspring of African and European ancestry. ... Mont Saint Michel is a historic pilgrimage site and a symbol of Normandy Normandy is a former country (a Duchy) situated in northern France occupying the lower Seine area (upper or Haute-Normandie) and the region to the west (lower or Basse-Normandie) as far as the Cotentin Peninsula. ... The French Army (Armée de Terre, Ground Army) is one component in the Military of France. ... Aristocracy is a form of government in which rulership is in the hands of an upper class known as aristocrats. ... The period of the French Revolution is very important in the history of France and the world. ... General is a military rank, in most nations the highest rank, although some nations have the higher rank of Field Marshal. ...


Thomas-Alexandre married Marie-Louise Elizabeth Labouret and on July 24, 1802 and in Villers-Cotterêts, Aisne, near Paris, France, she gave birth to their son, Alexandre Dumas, who would become France's most commercially successful author. General Dumas died in 1806 when Alexandre was only four, leaving a nearly impoverished mother to raise him under difficult conditions. Although Marie-Louise was unable to provide her son with much in the way of education, it did not hinder young Alexandre's love of books, and he read everything he could get his hands on. Growing up, his mother's stories of his father's brave military deeds during the glory years of Napoleon spawned Alexandre's vivid imagination for adventure and heroes. Although poor, the family still had the father's distinguished reputation and aristocratic connections and after the restoration of the monarchy, twenty-year-old Alexandre Dumas moved to Paris where he obtained employment at the Palais Royal in the office of the powerful duc d'Orléans. July 24 is the 205th day (206th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 160 days remaining. ... 1802 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Villers-Cotterêts is a commune of the Aisne département in the Picardie (Picardy) région in northern France. ... Aisne is a département in the northern part of France named after the Aisne River. ... The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ... Poverty is the state of being without, often associated with need, hardship and lack of resources across a wide range of circumstances. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... Following the ousting of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1814, the Allies restored the Bourbon Dynasty to the French throne. ... The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ... Gardens of the Palais-Royal: The illustration, from an 1863 guide to Paris, enlarges the apparent scale. ... Louis-Philippe of France (October 6, 1773–August 26, 1850), served as the Orleanist king of the French from 1830 to 1848. ...


Literary career

While working in Paris, Dumas began to write articles for magazines as well as plays for the theatre. In 1829 his first solo play, Henry III and his Court, was produced, meeting with great public acclaim. The following year his second play, Christine, proved equally popular and as a result, he was financially able to work full time at writing. However, in 1830, he participated in the revolution that ousted King Charles X and replaced him on the throne with Dumas' former employer, the duc d'Orléans, who would rule as Louis-Philippe, the Citizen King. 1829 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1830 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Charles X, King of France and of Navarre (October 9, 1757 – November 6, 1836) was born at the Palace of Versailles. ... Louis-Philippe of France (October 6, 1773–August 26, 1850), served as the Orleanist king of the French from 1830 to 1848. ...


Until the mid 1830s, life in France remained unsettled with sporadic riots by disgruntled Republicans and impoverished urban workers seeking change. As life slowly returned to normal, the nation began to industrialize and with an improving economy combined with the end of press censorship, the times turned out to be very rewarding for the skills of Alexandre Dumas. Events and Trends Electromagnetic induction discovered by Michael Faraday Dutch-speaking farmers known as Voortrekkers emigrate northwards from the Cape Colony Croquet invented in Ireland Railroad construction begins in earnest in the United States Egba refugees fleeing the Yoruba civil wars found the city of Abeokuta in south-west Nigeria... Press is a general term having a number of related meanings stemming from the original definition of pressing as the physical action of applying force: Things relating to Metalworking: Machine press, a machine that shapes material by the application of pressure; Flypress, a machine that cuts material by pressing with... Censorship is the systematic use of group power to broadly control freedom of speech and expression, largely in regard to secretive matters. ...


After writing more successful plays, he turned his efforts to novels. Although attracted to an extravagant lifestyle, and always spending more than he earned, Dumas proved to be a very astute business marketer. With high demand from newspapers for serial novels, in 1838, he simply rewrote one of his plays to create his first serial novel. Titled "Le Capitaine Paul," it led to his forming a production studio that turned out hundreds of stories, all subject to his personal input and direction. 1838 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...


In 1840, he married an actress, Ida Ferrier, but continued with his numerous liaisons with other women, fathering at least three illegitimate children. One of those children, a son named after him, would follow in his footsteps, also becoming a successful novelist and playwright. Because of their same name and occupation, to distinguish them, one is referred to as Alexandre Dumas père, (French for father) the other as Alexandre Dumas, fils (French for son). 1840 is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Alexandre Dumas, fils (July 27, 1824 – November 27, 1895) was the son of Alexandre Dumas, père, who followed in his fathers footsteps becoming a celebrated author and playwright. ...


Alexandre Dumas, père, wrote stories and historical chronicles of high adventure that captured the imagination of the French public who eagerly waited to purchase the continuing sagas. A few of these works are:

His writing earned him a great deal of money, but Dumas was frequently broke and in debt as a result of spending lavishly on countless women and high living. A soft touch, the huge and costly château he built was constantly filled with strangers who took advantage of his generosity. With King Louis-Philippe ousted in another revolt, he was not looked upon as favorably by the newly elected President, Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte and in 1851 Dumas finally had to flee to Brussels, Belgium to escape his creditors. From there he traveled to Russia where French was the second language and his writings were also enormously popular. The dArtagnan Romances are a set of three novels by Alexandre Dumas telling the story of the musketeer dArtagnan from his humble beginnings in Gascony to his death as a marshal of France in the siege of Maastricht in 1673. ... The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. ... 1844 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Twenty Years After (Vingt ans après) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. ... 1845 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later (Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The Man in the Iron Mask was a prisoner believed to have been held in the Bastille prison from an unknown date to his death in November 19, 1703. ... The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. ... 1845 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1845 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Categories: Literature stubs | Movie stubs | 1845 books | 1994 films | French novels ... 1845 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Alexandre Dumas (père) novel La Dame de Monsoreau is based upon the amorous escapades of two ladies who occupied the Château de Montsoreau during the reign of King Henri III. External links Free eBook of La dame de Monsoreau — Tome 1 at Project Gutenberg Free eBook of La dame de... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1848 is a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Affair of the diamond necklace was a mysterious incident in the 1780s at the court of Louis XVI of France involving the queen Marie Antoinette. ... 1849 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1850 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1855 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The Black Tulip, a story about the gardener Cornelius van Baerle and the beautiful Rosa, is one of the most popular novels by Alexandre Dumas, père and filled with excitement and romance. ... 1850 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... A performance of The Nutcracker The story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was written by E. T. A. Hoffmann. ... 1844 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... ETA Hoffman Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (January 24, 1776 - June 25, 1822), was a German romantic and fantasy author and composer. ... Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky  listen (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский, sometimes transliterated as Piotr, Anglicised as Peter Ilich), (May 7, 1840 – November 6, 1893 (N.S.); April 25, 1840 – October 25, 1893 (O.S.)) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The new buildings of the library. ... The Knight of Sainte-Hermine (Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine in the original French) is an unfinished historical novel by Alexandre Dumas. ... 1869 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ... A château ( French for castle; plural châteaux) is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of gentry, usually French, with or without fortifications. ... Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (April 20, 1808, Paris, France - January 9, 1873, Chislehurst, Kent, England) was a President of France, and later, Emperor of the French. ... Events January 23 - The flip of a coin determines whether a new city in Oregon is named after Boston, Massachusetts, or Portland, Maine, with Portland winning. ... For other uses, see Brussels (disambiguation). ...


Dumas spent two years in Russia before moving on to seek adventure and fodder for more stories. In March of 1861, the kingdom of Italy was proclaimed, with Victor Emmanuel II as its king. For the next three years, Alexandre Dumas would be involved in the fight for a united Italy, returning to Paris in 1864. 1861 is a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Victor Emmanuel II (Italian: Vittorio Emanuele II; March 14, 1820 – January 9, 1878) was the King of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia from 1849–1861. ... 1864 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


Despite Alexandre Dumas' success and aristocratic connections, his being of mixed-blood would affect him all his life. In 1843, he wrote a short novel, Georges, that addressed some of the issues of race and the effects of colonialism. Nevertheless, racist attitudes impacted his rightful position in France's history long after his death on December 5, 1870. 1843 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... December 5 is the 339th day (340th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1870 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


In June 2005, Dumas' recently-discovered last novel The Knight of Sainte-Hermine went on sale in France. Within the story, Dumas describes the Battle of Trafalgar in which the death of Lord Nelson is explained. The novel was being published serially and was almost complete by the time of his death. A final two-and-a-half chapters was written by modern-day Dumas scholar Claude Schopp. The Knight of Sainte-Hermine (Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine in the original French) is an unfinished historical novel by Alexandre Dumas. ... The Battle of Trafalgar, (French: le bataille de Trafalgar, Spanish: la batalla de Trafalgar) fought on 21 October 1805, was the most significant naval engagement of the Napoleonic Wars and the pivotal naval battle of the 19th century. ... Lord Nelson Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, KB (September 29, 1758 – October 21, 1805) was a British admiral who won fame as a leading naval commander. ...


Posthumous recognition

Buried in the place where he had been born, Alexandre Dumas remained in the cemetery at Villers-Cotterêts until November 30, 2002. Under orders of the French President, Jacques Chirac, his body was exhumed and in a televised ceremony, his new coffin, draped in a blue-velvet cloth and flanked by four men costumed as the Musketeers: Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan, was transported in a solemn procession to the Panthéon of Paris, the great mausoleum where French luminaries are interred. Jacques René Chirac (born November 29, 1932) is a French politician. ... Athos is a fictional character in the novels The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas, père. ... Porthos is a fictional character in the novels The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas. ... This article is about the fictional character. ... Charles de Batz-Castelmore, Comte dArtagnan (c. ... The Panthéon The Panthéon is a building in the Latin Quarter in Paris, France. ...


In his speech, President Chirac said: "With you, we were D'Artagnan, Monte Cristo or Balsamo, riding along the roads of France, touring battlefields, visiting palaces and castles -- with you, we dream." In an interview following the ceremony, President Chirac acknowledged the racism that had existed, saying that a wrong had now been righted with Alexandre Dumas enshrined alongside fellow authors Victor Hugo and Voltaire. An African-American drinks out of a water cooler designated for use by colored patrons in 1939 at a streetcar terminal in Oklahoma City. ... Victor Hugo Victor Hugo (February 26, 1802 – May 22, 1885) was a French author, the most important of the Romantic authors in the French language. ... Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (November 21, 1694 – May 30, 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, deist and philosopher. ...


The honor recognized that although France has produced many great writers, none have been as widely read as Alexandre Dumas. His stories have been translated into almost a hundred languages, and has inspired more than 200 motion pictures.


Alexandre Dumas' home outside of Paris, the Château Monte Cristo, has been restored and is open to the public.

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External links

  • eTexts of Dumas's works (http://www.gutenberg.org/author/Alexandre_Dumas_pere) from Project Gutenberg
  • Herald Sun: Lost Dumas play discovered (http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,10904968%255E1702,00.html)
  • Lost Dumas novel hits bookshelves (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4609819.stm)

 
 

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