ALEXANDRE DUMAS (PÈRE)
Alexandre Dumas (père)
Beautiful, bold cut signature, attached to aged paper photo of Dumas.
ALEXANDRE DUMAS, père (French for "father", akin to 'Senior' in English), (1802-1870) was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. He is best known for The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and The Man in the Iron Mask. He also wrote plays and magazine articles and was a prolific correspondent. Dumas made extensive use of the aid of numerous assistants and collaborators, of which Auguste Maquet was the best known. It was Maquet who outlined the plot of The Count of Monte Cristo and made substantial contributions to The Three Musketeers and its sequels, as well as several of Dumas's other novels. When working together, Maquet proposed plots and wrote drafts, while Dumas added the details, dialogues, and the final chapters.
His writing earned him a great deal of money, but Dumas was frequently broke or in debt as a result of spending lavishly on women and high living. The large and costly Château de Monte-Cristo that he built was often filled with strangers and acquaintances who took advantage of his generosity.
Dumas' paternal grandparents were a French nobleman and an Afro-Caribbean former slave. Consequently, despite his success and aristocratic connections, his being of mixed-race would affect him all his life. It is attributed to him a personal quote to someone who insulted him about his mixed-race background: "It is true. My father was a mulatto, my grandmother was a negress, and my great-grandparents were monkeys. In short, sir, my pedigree begins where yours ends."
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