Aleksandras Diuma

Introduction………………………………………….32. The aim of Project Work…………………………….43. The Project Work “Alexander Dumas”……………..5a) Biographical Links………………………….…5b) About His Novels……………………………..7c) Author’s Preface………………………………7d) History Of Dumas’s Musketeers…….………..9e) The Count of Monte Cristo……………………10f) Off The Shelf …………………………………104. Conclusions…………………………………………..l1

Alexander Dumas (1802-1870) was one of the most famous French writers of the 19th century. Dumas is best known for historical adventure novels like The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, both written within the space of two years, 1844-45, and which belong to the foundation works of popular culture. He was among the first, along with Honore de Balzac and EugХne Sue, who fully used the possibilities of roman feuilleton, the serial novel. Duma is credited with revitalizing the historical novel in France, although his abilities as a writer were under dispute from the beginning. Dumas’ works are fast-paced adventure tales that blend history and fiction, but on the other hand, the are entangled, melodramatic, and actually not faithful to the historical facts. Dumas’s life sometimes seemed as action-packed as his novels; he participated in three revolutions, courted countless women and dueled when his honor was insulted. Luckily for his fans, the lavish chateau he built outside Paris, always open to starving artists, the families of mistresses, and even strangers, has recently been restored and opened to the public. More importantly, the timeless works he created are still being made available in bookstores and revisited on cinema screens.

In the world there are a lot of writers. One of them wrote fantastic books, other romantic, adventure or other books. I think that the most interesting are adventure books for me. I like to read them very much. So, one of adventure books writer is Alexander Dumas. And that’s why my favourite writer is Dumas. As a playwright Dumas made his breakthrough with “Henri III et Sa Cour” (1829), produced by the Comedie Francaise. It gained a huge success and Dumas went on to write additional plays, of which “La Tour de Nesle” (1832, “The Tower of Nesle”) is considered the greatest masterpiece of French melodrama. He wrote constantly, producing a steady stream of plays, novels, and short stories.

So I think it is very good that I decided to write project work about that writer. I would scent out a lot of new things about him.


Biographical Links: Alexander Dumas was born on July 24, 1802 in Villers-Cotterêts 40 km NE of Paris. His birth certificate names him Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie. His grandfather was the Marquis Antoine-Alexander Davy de la Pailleterie and his grandmother was Marie-Céssette Dumas, a black slave from Jérémie, Saint-Domingue (now part of Haiti). She gave birth to Thomas-Alexander and died when he was young. When they eventually returned to Paris, his grandfather did not approve of his father enlisting the army under the name of Davy de la Pailleterie, so he enlisted as Thomas-Alexander Dumas. Thomas-Alexander worked his way to the title of General under Napoleon Bonaparte. Alexander grew up in Villers-Cotterêts, and traveled to Paris when he was twenty. By twenty-five, he had his first success as a playwright. Duma has written many interesting anecdotes about these years in Mes Mémoires. Many people do not realize that Dumas became famous not for his novels, but for his plays. Dumas wrote hundreds of plays, novels and travel diaries. He wrote several children’s stories, and a culinary dictionary. He started several magazines and wrote in them weekly. He was one of the most prolific writers ever, and did not shy away from collaborating with others or rewriting older stories. His most successful novels are not deep, but contain marvelous adventures and actions, and bigger-than-life characters. He wrote many historical novels where he took great liberty with the truth in order to achieve a good story, but never claimed that they were historically accurate. His son, Alexander Dumas fils, wrote several important novels including La Dame aux Camélias, the basis of Verdi’s opera La Traviata.

After many years of writing, traveling, and carousing, after he had made and lost several fortunes, Dumas died in Puys, near Dieppe, on December 5, 1870. Dumas’ role in the development of the historical novel owes much to a coincidence. The lifting of press censorship in the 1830s gave rise to a rapid spread of newspapers. Editors began to lure readers by entertaining serial novels. Everybody read them, the aristocracy, and the bourgeoisie, young and old, men and women. Dumas’ first true serial novel was Le Capitaine Paul (1838, Captain Paul), a quick rewrite of a play.

Dumas lived as adventurously as the heroes of his books. He took part in the revolution of July 1830, caught cholera during the epidemic of 1832, and traveled in Italy to recuperate. He married his mistress Ida Ferrier, an actress, in 1840, but he soon separated after having spent her entire dowry. With the money earned from his writings, he built a fantastic Chateau Monte Cristo on the outskirts of Paris. In 1851 Dumas escaped his creditors – his country house, the Chateau de Monte Cristo. Dumas spent two years in exile in Brussels (1855-57), and then returned to Paris. In 1858 he traveled to Russia and in1860 he went to Italy, where he supported Garibaldi and Italy’s struggle for independence (1860-64). He then remained in Naples as a keeper of the museums for four years. After his return to France his debts continued to mount. Called as “the king of Paris”, Dumas earned fortunes and spent them right away on friends, art, and mistresses. Dumas died of a stroke on December 5, 1870, at Puys, near Dieppe. His son Alexander Dumas fils, became a writer, dramatist, and moralist, who never accepted his father’s lifestyle. Dumas did not generally define himself as a black man, and there is not much evidence that he encountered overt racism during his life. However, his works were popular among the 19th-century African-Americans, partly because in The Count of Monte-Cristo, the falsely imprisoned Edmond DantХs, may be read as a parable of emancipation. In a shorter work, Georges (1843, George), Dumas examined the question of race and colonialism. The main character, a half-French mulatto,

leaves Mauritius to be educated in France, and returns to avenge him for the affronts he had suffered as a boy.

About His Novels: The action-packed novels of 19th-century French author Alexandre Dumas continue to intrigue millions of readers around the world, 150 years after their creation. The stories have been translated into almost a hundred languages, and the most famous, The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, have inspired more than 100 of the 200 films based on Dumas’s works. Few people know, however, that the author was the grandson of a Haitian slave, or that Dumas’s mulatto father rose rapidly through the ranks of the French Army to become a legendary general by the age of 31. Though the general died young, leaving his son without an inheritance, Dumas overcame poverty, the lack of formal education, and the constant wear and tear of 19th-century racism to become one of the world’s most popular writers. By the time Dumas was 35, he had laid the foundations of bourgeois drama, helped stage a Romantic revolution in theater, and helped create a new kind of Romantic novel. Oxford University Press offers the entire set, unabridged, in five volumes as part of its World Classics series:

The Three Musketeers, ISBN 0192827510 Twenty Years After, ISBN 0192830740 The Vicomte de Bragelonne, ISBN 0192823906 Louise de la Vallière, ISBN 0192823892 The Man in the Iron Mask, ISBN 0192827529

Author’s Preface In which it is proved that, notwithstanding their names’ ending in OS and IS, the heroes of the story which we are about to have the honor to relate to our readers have nothing mythological about them. A short time ago, while making researches in the Royal Library for my History of Louis XIV, I stumbled by chance upon the Memoirs of M. D’Artagnan, printed–as were most of the works of that period, in which authors could not tell the truth without the risk of a residence, more or less long, in the Bastille–at Amsterdam, by Pierre Rouge. The title attracted me; I took them home with me, with the permission of the guardian, and devoured them.

It is not my intention here to enter into an analysis of this curious work; and I shall satisfy myself with referring such of my readers as appreciate the pictures of the period to its pages. They will therein find portraits penciled by the hand of a master; and although these squibs may be, for the most part, traced upon the doors of barracks and the walls of cabarets, they will not find the likenesses of Louis XIII, Anne of Austria, Richelieu, Mazarin, and the courtiers of the period, less faithful than in the history of M. Anquetil. But, it is well known, what strikes the capricious mind of the poet is not always what affects the mass of readers. Now, while admiring, as others doubtless will admire, the details we have to relate, our main preoccupation concerned a matter to which no one before ourselves had given a thought. D’Artagnan relates that on his first visit to M. de Tréville, captain of the king’s Musketeers, he met in the antechamber three young men, serving in the illustrious corps into which he was soliciting the honor of being received, bearing the names of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. We must confess these three strange names struck us; and it immediately occurred to us that they were but pseudonyms, under which D’Artagnan had disguised names perhaps illustrious, or else that the bearers of these borrowed names had themselves chosen them on the day in which, from caprice, discontent, or want of fortune, they had donned the simple Musketeer’s uniform. From the moment we had no rest till we could find some trace in contemporary works of these extraordinary names which had so strongly awakened our Curiosity. The catalogue alone of the books we read with this object would fill a whole chapter, which, although it might be very instructive, would certainly afford our readers but little amusement. It will suffice, then, to tell them that at the moment at which, discouraged by so many fruitless investigations, we were about to abandon our search, we at length found, guided by the counsels of our illustrious friend Paulin Paris, a manuscript in folio, endorsed 4772 or 4773, we do not recollect which, having for title, “Memoirs of the Comte de la Fère, Touching Some Events Which Passed in France Toward the End of the Reign of King Louis XIII and the Commencement of the Reign of King Louis XIV.”
It may be easily imagined how great was our joy when, in turning over this manuscript, our last hope, we found at the twentieth page the name of Athos, at the twenty-seventh the name of Porthos, and at the thirty-first the name of Aramis. The discovery of a completely unknown manuscript at a period in which historical science is carried to such a high degree appeared almost miraculous. We hastened, therefore, to obtain permission to print it, with the view of presenting ourselves someday with the pack of others at the doors of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, if we should not succeed–a very probable thing, by the by–in gaining admission to the Academie Francaise with our own proper pack. This permission, we feel bound to say, was graciously granted; which compels us here to give a public contradiction to the slanderers who pretend that we live under a government but moderately indulgent to men of letters. Now, this is the first part of this precious manuscript which we offer to our readers, restoring it to the title which belongs to it, and entering into an engagement that if (of which we have no doubt) this first part should obtain the success it merits, we will publish the second immediately.In the meanwhile, as the godfather is a second father, we beg the reader to lay to our account, and not to that of the Comte de la Fère, the pleasure or the ennui he may experience.

History of Duma’s Musketeers I have often wondered just what parts of Dumas’ works follow history, and which parts were his fictional creations. Since no one else has put any such examination on-line, I have decided that I will attempt to do so. I am not a historian. I have a list of a number of books at our University library and will be going through them for references that agree or disagree with Dumas. I will reference where I am receiving his information, normally, by (author, page number), as in (Kleinman, 23). If an entire paragraph references many pages from a single chapter, I will refer to it as (author, Chapter number), as in (Kleinman, Chapter 5).

The Count of Monte Cristo The Count of Monte Cristo (1844-45) – The protagonist, Edmond Dantes, is about to marry his sweetheart and become a captain of a vessel. He is framed by three enemies as a Napoleonic conspirator, shortly before Napoleon’s dramatic return from Elba in 1815. Dantes is imprisoned in the Chateau d’If, by the politician Villefort who is anxious to conceal his own father’s machinations on behalf of Bonaparte. Educated by the Abbe Faria, Dantes remains in the French Alcatraz 14 years, before he manages to escape, in a highly dramatic manner. He flees to the island of Monter Cristo, and locates a fabulous treasure, hidden since the time of Renaissance. As the Count of Monte Cristo and with the wealth of the treasure Dantes destroys his enemies and shows the wrong side of the bourgeois world. – The novel originated from Dumas’ acquaintance with JerТme Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, whose younger son Dumas took occasionally on short educational journeys. Returning from Elba, Dumas spotted another island, the deserted Monte-Carlo, about which he determined to write a novel in remembrance of the trip.

Off the Shelf Alexander Dumas père Best collection of Dumas links yet. Most of the links are presented in both English and French. This has a wide variety of bibliographic, biographic, and uncategorizable links listed. If you’re interested in the order of things, there is a listing of all the chapter titles in the “Iron Mask” series. Tiny, tiny text. Also now includes some of the plays of Dumas, including a translation into English of Dumas’ translation into French of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Swashbucklers and Fops A nice page about the books and how they fit together. Built around the a swashbuckling legends web page. If you are interested in Dumas or swashbucklers, you should read this page!

Who Was the Man in the Iron Mask? A summary of the many theories about who the man behind the mask really was. Club Dumas On-line chat area for talking about Dumas and his works. The Marriage of History and Imagination Includes biographies of some of the historical figures in “The Three Musketeers”. D’Artagnan, The Illustrious and Poorly-Known Gascon From a web site about Gascony, a lot of information about the true d’Artagnan upon which Dumas based his d’Artagnan. Inactive as of last visit on December 23, 2001 Roman et Histoire Something in French about the Three Musketeers and their basis in real history. “The three musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis, are respectively identified as Armand de Sillègue d’Athos d’Autevielle (1615-1644), Isaac de Portau, and Henri d’Aramitz (died 1674). Few common points link these three men and the characters of the novel but the fact that they all belonged to the company of Tréville. Henri d’Aramitz was abbot laic in his native village. He thus belonged just like Aramis to the religious body. Henri d’Aramitz and Isaac de Portau were cousins distant from Armand de Sillègue (who according to his name perhaps belonged to the nobility like Athos). Dumas thus modified these characters in their allotting features of well defined natures and by changing their age.” Stratford Festival of Canada This summer/fall (2000), both “The Three Musketeers” and “The Importance of Being Earnest” will be playing. Also, a piece on Oscar Wilde through the eyes of Lord Alfred Douglas. Cardinal Richelieu at Lucidcafé A short synopsis of Cardinal Richelieu’s effect on the French monarchy.

Alexander Dumas Père, best known as the author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, ran a veritable book-factory with the aid of researchers and assistants, churning out hundreds of books, including historical novels, travel writings, biographies, and children’s books, and invented the genre of historical romance.

The D’Artagnan Romances The exact count of the D’Artagnan Romances depends on the edition you consult. The canonical set is The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and Vicomte de Bragelonne; the Vicomte is traditionally published in three volumes as Vicomte de Bragelonne (sometimes Ten Years Later), Louise de la Vallière, and The Man in the Iron Mask, but a division into four (with Ten Years Later following the Victomte) is not uncommon.