Artist of the day 3/4/12: Dark Writing 4: Alexandre Dumas (Part one)


Sorry everyone for not posting this yesterday. My laptop was being extremely slow, still is.

Alexandre Dumas (Part one)

Alexandre Dumas’s birth name is Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, born July 24, 1802, died December 5, 1870.

Early Life

Alexandre Dumas was born in Villers Cotterêts in the department of Aisne, in Picardy, France. His paternal grandparents were Marquis Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, a french nobleman and Général commissaire in the artillery in the colony of saint-Domingue (Now known as Haiti) and Marie-Cesette Dumas, an Afro-Caribbean Creole of mixed French and African ancestry. Their son, Thomas Alexandre Dumas, married Marie Louise Élisabeth Labouret, the daughter of an innkeeper. Thomas, then a general in Napoleon’s army, fell out of favor and the family was impoverished when Dumas was born.

Dumas father died in 1806 when he as only four. His mother widowed was unable to provide her son with much of an education, but he read everything he could obtain. His mother’s stories of his father’s bravery during the years of Napoleon I of France inspired his vivid imagination for adventure. Although they where poor the family still had their father’s distinguished reputation and aristocratic position. In 1822, after the restoration of the monarchy, 20 year old Alexandre Dumas moved to Paris, where he worked at the Palais Royal in the office of Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans.


While in Paris Dumas began writing for magazines and plays for the theater. His first play titled Henry III and His Courts was produced in 1829, and was met with acclaim. The next year his second play Christine was equally popular, making it financially possible for him to write full time.

In 1830 he took part in the revolution which ousted Charles X and placed Dumas’ former employer the Duck of Orléans on the throne, he was known as Louis Philippe, the Citizen King.

Life in France remained unsettled until the mid 1830s, 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 were very rewarding for the skills of Alexandre Dumas.

After writing more successful plays Dumas terned his efforts to novels. Even though he was attracted to an extravagant lifestyle, and always spending more then he earned, he proved to be an astute marketer. Since newspapers anted many serial novels, in 1838 Dumas rewrote one of his plays to create his first serial novel, titled Le Capitaine Paul, hich led to his forming a production studio that turned out hundreds of stories, all subject to his personal input and direction.

From 1839 to 1841 with the assistance of several friends Dumas compiled Celebrated Crimes, an eight volume collection of essays on famous criminals and crimes from European history, including Beatrice Cenci, Martin Guerre, Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia as ell as more recent incidents, including the cases of executed alleged murderers Karl Ludwig Sand and Antoine François Desrues.

Dumas also collaborated with his fencing master Augustin Grisierin his 1840 novel, The Fencing Master. The story is written to be Grisier’s narrated account of how he come to witness the events of the Decembrist revolt in Russia. The novel was eventually banned in Russia by Czar Nicholas I, causing Dumas to also be banned from visiting Russia until after the Czar’s death. Grisier is also mentioned with great respect in The count of Monte Cristo, The Corsican Brothers, and in Dumas’ memoirs.

More tomorrow……..


About artfulhelix

I'm a mother to three beautiful boys, 8 years, 2 years, and 1 year old, all there birthdays in April with mine (very busy month). I am a wife to a wonderful man who supports every thing I want to do. I have 10 piercings and 11 tattoos, more tattoos coming soon. I am an artist, painting, tattooing, sculpting (haven't done that for a long time), poetry, and a few small crafts. As an artist I felt writing was the next logical step for me. I am enjoying every minute of it, writing, blogging (never thought I would blog), and critiquing. I not only want to talk about my book and the writing proses, but art in general in my blog. I would like to share a poem I wrote a few years ago, but is so me. I came up with it when a very old woman came up to me on the side walk and said " Do you know you are going to hell?" laughing a little inside I said "No, why am I going to hell?" "Because you have desecrated the lords temple with all your piercings and tattoos!" She looks so serious when she said this. I said "I'm not desecrating, I'm decorating!" well that made her mad of course, and she stomped off. later I wrote this: You look at me that way in disgust and disdain I’m pierced and tattooed I must be insane But who are you to judge when you kneel down and pray Just because our beliefs are not the same We are not so different you and I for we are all the same when we die This is nothing against religion, merely about judgment in general. Can't wait to share more of what I love and who I am.

4 responses »

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