Alexandre Dumas, pere

 

Alexandre Dumas, père (French for "father", akin to Senior in English), born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie (18021870) was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and The Man in the Iron Mask were serialized, and he also wrote plays and magazine articles and was a prolific correspondent.

 

His son Alexandre Dumas, fils wrote Camille.  See below. 

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From LibriVox:

1.  Count of Monte Cristo - The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel.  It is often considered, along with The Three Musketeers, as Dumas’s most popular work. The writing of the work was completed in 1844. Like many of his novels, it is expanded from the plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet.  The story takes place in France, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean and the Levant during the historical events of 1815–1838 (from just before the Hundred Days through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France). 

2.  The Three Musketeers - The Three Musketeers is a novel that recounts the adventures of a young man named d’Artagnan after he leaves home to become a musketeer. D’Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis — inseparable friends who live by the motto, “One for all, and all for one”.

3.  The Man in the Iron Mask - In this, the last of the Three Musketeers novels, Dumas builds on the true story of a mysterious prisoner held incognito in the French penal system, forced to wear a mask when seen by any but his jailer or his valet. If you have skipped the novels between The Three Musketeers and this, a few notes will bring you into the story:
On one side – Aramis, now a bishop and secretly the Captain-General of the Jesuit Order, who believes he has found a path to a higher honor – the papacy. Monsieur Fouquet, the vastly rich minister of finance, Aramis’ ally. Philippe, the identical twin of King Louis XIV, who grew up in ignorance of his pedigree, and whose surrogate parents were murdered on the king’s order and himself sent into the notorious Paris prison, the Bastille, there held in solitary confinement.
On the other side – King Louis XIV, selected as the twin who would be king by his mother, and who intends that his brother will never challenge him. Monsieur Colbert, first minister, who is jealous of Fouquet and plots his downfall.

4.  Twenty Years After - Continuation of The Three Musketeers Novel

5.  Ten Years Later -  After The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After the adventurous story of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan continues!  The novel is the last of the Musketeer novels. 

6.  Celebrated Crimes (Volume 1) - Dumas's 'Celebrated Crimes' was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language -- has minced no words -- to describe the violent scenes of a violent time.  In some instances facts appear distorted out of their true perspective, and in others the author makes unwarranted charges. The careful, mature reader, for whom the books are intended, will recognize, and allow for, this fact. 

7.  The Vicomte of Bragelonne - After The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After the adventurous story of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan continues! The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years is the last of the Musketeer novels. It is usually divided into four volumes and this first volume contains chapters 1-75. 

8.  The Black Tulip - First  published in 1850 as a historical novel placed in the time of Tulipmania in the Netherlands. The novel begins with the 1672 politically motivated mob lynching of the de Witt brothers and then follows the story of Cornelius van Baerle, godson of Cornelius de Wit. Cornelius Van Baerle has joined the race to breed a truly black tulip – and to win the prize of 100,000 guilders, as well as fame and honor. As he nears his goal he is jailed and then rescued – by the beautiful Rosa, daughter of the jailer. 

9.  The Corsican Brothers - Alexandre Dumas weaves the compelling story of Siamese twins who are separated physically but never in spirit. When one of the brothers is murdered, the other leaves Corsica for Paris to avenge the killing.  Dumas brings this thrilling tale to life with his fascinating descriptions of Italy and France and his powerful portrayal of the undying love of brother for brother. 

10.  Celebrated Crimes, Vol 2: The Massacres of the South - Dumas's 'Celebrated Crimes' was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language--has minced no words--to describe the violent scenes of a violent time.  In some instances facts appear distorted out of their true perspective, and in others the author makes unwarranted charges. The careful, mature reader, for whom the books are intended, will recognize, and allow for, this fact.

11.  The Wolf-Leader - Part local legend of a dark and dangerous Wolf-Leader, part childhood memories of his home near Villers-Cotterets, in Aisne, Dumas here penned a chilling supernatural encounter between man and the devil. Our hero, Thibault the shoemaker, is beaten on the orders of the Lord of Vez for hunting in the lord's forest. With Thibault's resentment at his treatment by the world at its height, the devil sees his chance and, in the guise of a wolf, proposes a deal which Thibault accepts; the ever available trade of one's soul for evil power. With a pack of demon possessed wolves at his command, Thibault begins to explore his new power tentatively, hesitant to do evil, but unable to help himself, the momentum of the tale grown in surprising and horrifying ways until the unexpected climax. 

12.  Marguerite de Valois - A historical fiction novel set in Paris (1572) during Charles IX's reign and the French Wars of Religion. Marguerite de Valois, daughter of deceased Henry II, is the novel's protagonist set against the infamous schemes of the Catholic power player, Catherine de Medici.

13. Celebrated Crimes, Vol. 3: Mary Stuart - The third volume is devoted to the story of Mary Queen of Scots, another woman who suffered a violent death, and around whose name an endless controversy has waged. Dumas goes carefully into the dubious episodes of her stormy career, but does not allow these to blind his sympathy for her fate. Mary, it should be remembered, was closely allied to France by education and marriage, and the French never forgave Elizabeth the part she played in the tragedy.
[Go to # 6 above for Volume 1 and # 10 above for Volume 2]

14.  Celebrated Crimes, Vol. 4:Karl-Ludwig Sand - This is the fourth volume of Alexandre Dumas' studies of celebrated crimes and their perpetrators. This volume is concerned with the story of Karl Ludwig Sand, who stabbed August von Kotzebue to death in 1819. August von Kotzebue had been a prominent dramatist, a student of Musäus, whose royalist and conservative writings ultimately led to his assassination by a member of a revolutionary liberal Burschenschaft.

15. The Forty-Five Guardsmen - The sequel to "Chicot the Jester" and final book of the "Valois Romances." This story begins six years after the famed "Duel of the Mignons" between the favorites of the courts of King Henry III and Henry the Duke of Guise (somewhat allied with the King's brother, Francis, Duke of Anjou and Alencon). Dumas concludes his historical fiction on the War of the Three Henries while (1) detailing the formation of the Forty-Five Guardsmen (who were to become the Musketeers), (2) following Chicot the Jester as he stays loyal to the failing regency of King Henry III, and (3) continuing the story of Diana (a principal character in the previous book).

16Celebrated Crimes, Vol. 5: Urbain Grandier - This is the dramatic story of Urbain Grandier, a catholic priest, who had a reputation to rival that of Casanova, which ultimately led to his destruction. He was accused of witchcraft after a series of accusations from nuns of a nearby convent, who claimed that Grandier has sent several demons upon them. 
The case is very well documented, and the original documents of the alleged pact, written in backwards Latin and signed by all participating demons, are still preserved. The case continues to inspire art and sciences, leading to assessments of the events in light of modern sociology, psychology, and legal sciences. Alexandre Dumas' version of the events is presented here.

17.  Catherine Howard - Subtitled "The Throne, The Tomb, and The Scaffold - An Historical Play in 3 Acts from the Celebrated Play of that Name by Alexandre Dumas" - How can you resist a play about English history - the doomed fifth wife of Henry the 8th - by the celebrated French author of The Musketeers?? 

18. Celebrated Crimes, Vol. 4: Part 3: Nisida - This story details the many crimes (attempted rape, assault, filicide, etc.) surrounding a significant historical confrontation between a fisherman from the island of Nisida, named Gabriel, and the Italian Prince of Brancaleone. Dumas notes that "the details of this case are recorded in the archives of the Criminal Court at Naples."

19. Paul Jones  - Dumas's 5 Act play talks of American Naval Hero John Paul Jones's romantic entanglements and affairs of honor ashore in France. He later converted it to a novel.

20. Celebrated Crimes, Vol. 5: Part 1: Desrues - This story chronicles the crimes of Antoine-Francois Desrues (also called "Derues") from his childhood to his execution. Desrues constructed the veneer of a virtuous reputation that hid his ever-increasing deviancy from society. Eventually, his lust for fame and fortune (especially the latter) crumbled his virtuous veneer, revealing the startling extent of his crimes, and condemning him to justice by the executioner's hand.

21. Celebrated Crimes, Vol. 5: Part 2: La Constantin - Dumas chronicles the court intrigues that led to the execution of Marie La Roux Constantin. La dame Constantin was known by French nobility in the 17th century as the “midwife to the Queen’s daughters.” This title was, in reality, a dark jest as her business was providing dangerous (often maternally fatal) abortions to women ensnared in the machinations of powerful noblemen. This case also highlights how strongly gender inequalities permeated the justice system of this time as reviews by historians, like Dr. Leigh Whaley, found La Constantin was condemned “without any tangible evidence against her.”

22Celebrated Crimes, Vol. 6: Part 1: Joan of Naples - The celebrated crimes committed during the life of Joan (Joanna I) of Naples span from personal misdeeds (adulteries and mariticide) to regional warfare (like the 1345 War in the Piedmont), and ultimately unraveled her father’s legacy (King Robert the Wise). Dumas projects her story through a deathly lens: beginning with the passing of King Robert the Wise, winding through the untimely demise of nobles, soldiers, and children, then ending at Joan’s own assassination.

23.  Celebrated Crimes, Vol. 6: Part 2: The Man in the Iron Mask - In the late 1600s a man was doubly-imprisoned: his body in an iron cell and his face in an iron mask. Who the “man in the iron mask” was, why he was imprisoned, and how he was treated during imprisonment, remains a mystery that has captivated historians for centuries. Before Dumas penned the final volume of his D’Artagnan Romances, “The Man in the Iron Mask,” he wrote that “everything connected with the masked prisoner arouses the most vivid curiosity.” This essay is a comprehensive summary of theories regarding the masked prisoner’s identity and history from the 1770s to Dumas’ time (1840s).

24.  Mademoiselle De Belle Isle - "The refined and fashionable audiences who... used to applaud the play of Mademoiselle de Belle Isle… would, in all probability, have objected to an English version of Dumas' clever play, upon the score of its immorality. It is not for me to determine whether the aristocratic audiences at the St James Theater did not understand what they heard, or whether the French language has a special charm for rendering inoffensive what plain English fails to recommend."

25. Celebrated Crimes, Vol. 6: Part 3: Martin Guerre - Martin Guerre was a French peasant that, during a long absence, was famously impersonated in the 16th century. Although the real Martin Guerre is suspected of no serious crimes, his imposter, Arnaud du Tilh, engaged in fraud and adultery while pursuing false claims to the Guerre inheritance. Dumas later incorporates this celebrated crime into his novel “The Two Dianas.”

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 From the Dramatization of Orson Welles' "Mercury Theatre on the Air":

  1. Count of Monte Cristo

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Camille  - Alexandre Dumas, fils (The Son of Alexandre Dumas)

The Lady of the Camellias (French: La Dame aux camélias) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils, first published in 1848, that was subsequently adapted for the stage. The Lady of the Camellias premiered at the Theatre de Vaudeville in Paris, France on February 2, 1852. An instant success, Giuseppe Verdi immediately set about to put the story to music. His work became the 1853 opera La Traviata with the female protagonist “Marguerite Gautier” renamed “Violetta Valéry”.

 

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