The legendary writer of historical and adventure novels is one of the most widely read French authors of all time. Born as Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, the prolific author began his career as a playwright producing several successful plays before moving on to write novels. He has also written several essays, articles and travel books. The son of a French Army General, he grew up hearing stories of his father’s bravery in the wars which kindled in him a profound interest in historical events. His father died when Alexandre was just four years of age. This caused great financial distress to his mother, who could not provide for her son’s education. The would-be author had an innate love for the words and read whatever books he could lay his hands on; he even taught himself Spanish through self-education. He began his writing career by penning down articles, essays and plays. The success of his plays motivated him to write novels, which he publi-shed first in a serialized format in newspapers. In collaboration with other writers, the most notable of whom was Auguste Maquet, he produced several works of fiction which made him immensely popular. His works have been translated into nearly 100 languages and adapted into over 200 films — a fact which makes him one of the best loved authors of the 19th century.
Alexandre Dumas was the son of Marie-Louise and Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, a French Army General who served in the French Revolutionary Wars. He had one sister. His father died of cancer when Alexandre was only four years old, and his mother could not afford to send him to an elite school for education. However, the boy was a voracious reader who read whatever books were available to him. He had a great sense of imagination which was further fuelled by the stories his mother told of his father’s bravery during the French Wars.
Dumas often collaborated with other writers while working on his novels. The most famous of his collaborators was the playwright Auguste Maquet with whom he wrote the highly popular ‘The Three Musketeers’ in 1844.
His best-known work, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ was completed in 1844. The story covers the historical events that took place in Europe during the time period of 1815-1838.
Until tomorrow: Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.