July 24th, 1802 – December 5th, 1870
This is a storytime about Alexandre Dumas, the author of The Three Musketeers.
I was first introduced to Alexandre Dumas through Joseph Bologne. Bologne was the inspiration for the character Aramis in The Three Musketeers.
His father Thomas-Alexandre, was a French general during the revolutionary wars, originally from Haiti.
Thomas was the son of the Marquis Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailletaire (who was a French nobleman).
Marie Cessette Dumas was his mother who was an enslaved woman of Afro-Caribbean descent.
He was the first man of colour to become a general-in-chief in the army.
Thomas fought alongside Napoleon. He had a great future set up for him in the army, but all of that changed when he was despatched to France.
On his way to France, he was kidnapped and imprisoned for 20 months. When he was released he was penniless, deaf in one ear, and partly paralyzed.
Alexandre’s mother was Marie-Louise Élisabeth Labouret, the daughter of Sieur Labouret, landlord of the Hôtel of the Crown in Villers-Cotterêts, France.
Marie-Louise met Thomas-Alexandre Dumas in 1789 after his regiment had been sent to Villers-Cotterêts, and they married in 1792.
Young Alexandre worshipped his father and was 4 years old when he died of stomach cancer.
Marie couldn’t afford to put him through school however Alexandre taught himself how to read and write.
When Alexandre was twenty he moved to Paris and worked at Palais Royal, in the d’Orleans office.
Alexandre began to write plays for the theatre and magazine articles.
His first play, Christine was out in 1829 and it was a success that gave him the financial opportunity to write full-time.
Encouraged, Alexandre continued to write more successful plays until he began to write novels.
He also proved to be an astute businessman, he re-wrote his plays as serial novels and founded a production studio.
The production studio he owned employed writers who churned out stories under his direction and tutelage.
Alexandre suffered racism throughout his career and wasn’t afraid to call it out.
When he was insulted about his Afro-Caribbean background he claimed his great-grandfather was a monkey and said “You see, Sir my family starts where yours ends” Ouch!
The novel Georges, was penned to speak about the effects of colonialism and racism.
His work was inspired by the stories that his mother used to tell him about his Father and history.
Following his death in 1870 his work continues to leave a legacy and impact.
His stories have been translated into 100 languages and over 200 motion pictures.
Alexandre’s body was exhumed and buried in the Pantheon of Paris in 2002.
All the great French luminaries rest here.
Chateau de Monte Cristo was his former home has been restored and open for visitors.
Thank you Monsieur Dumas for all the work that you created.
#Adeptales #StayAdept #SoAdept #AlexandreDumas #TheThreeMusketeers #TheCountofMonteCristo #TheManInTheIronMask #BlackAuthors #BlackBooks #Blackmenread #Storytime