July 24, 1802: Alexandre Dumas is born.

This prolific French author of, most famously, The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, was born in Villers-Cotterêts in Aisne, France, to Marie Louise Labouret and General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, France’s first black general. On his father’s side, Dumas was of both white French and black/Afro-Caribbean ancestry - his grandmother was a slave from Santo Domingo. 

Dumas began his career after the Bourbon Restoration, whereupon he moved to Paris and secured a job under Louis Philippe, future and final king of France. During this time, he published his first plays - Henry III and His Courts (1829) and Christine, both sweeping pieces of Romantic drama; both were also commercial successes and together, allowed him to take up a career as a full-time writer and spend extravagantly. Much of his work falls into the realm of Romanticism and historical fiction (such as his most famous novels), but Dumas was endlessly productive and worked in many different genres throughout his career; of all French authors Dumas is considered one of the most widely-read, having written dozens of novels, several dramas, and non-fiction works ranging from history books to journal articles to culinary encyclopedias.

Despite his success as an author and aristocratic background, Dumas was not immune to racial discrimination. He rarely wrote on the subject, but his 1843 novel Georges, set on the island of Mauritius, centered on racial conflict and featured a light-skinned mixed-race protagonist. To one man who targeted his African ancestry as a personal attack, Dumas made the famous retort:

My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, and my great-grandfather a monkey. You see, Sir, my family starts where yours ends.

  1. innanzituttoticalmi reblogged this from unhistorical
  2. justshadesofgrey reblogged this from unhistorical
  3. angeldimagia reblogged this from unhistorical
  4. stupidsexywintersoldier reblogged this from selinakatherins
  5. selinakatherins reblogged this from unhistorical
  6. siochembio reblogged this from deweypetalchaperone
  7. deweypetalchaperone reblogged this from unhistorical
  8. actualfractal reblogged this from thegreenteacrimewavestudio
  9. faustiandevil reblogged this from unhistorical
  10. elvisandcats reblogged this from hyperboreanmanners
  11. scrambles4life reblogged this from navigatorasia
  12. capitalizethek reblogged this from lucerei
  13. salparadisewasright reblogged this from joachimmurat
  14. mmeflamel reblogged this from joachimmurat and added:
    He was indeed. Handsome.
  15. navigatorasia reblogged this from feistyphocion
  16. joachimmurat reblogged this from feistyphocion and added:
    Also, damn he was a handsome man.
  17. hyperboreanmanners reblogged this from feistyphocion
  18. dernister reblogged this from feistyphocion
  19. feistyphocion reblogged this from lecomtesanstete
  20. lucerei reblogged this from lecomtesanstete
  21. lecomtesanstete reblogged this from unhistorical
  22. sangdesmartyrs reblogged this from unhistorical
  23. luvrumcake reblogged this from bisousmwah
  24. smrzj reblogged this from unhistorical
  25. etheleato reblogged this from penthesileas
  26. saturn-in-oppostion reblogged this from unhistorical
  27. aminamithri reblogged this from literaryreference
  28. rycass22 reblogged this from dhwlr
  29. inwhichipoststuff reblogged this from literaryreference