Day 212 of Colourisation Project – December 5
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
Alexandre Dumas is one of France’s most celebrated and widely read authors, best known for his historical adventure novels, including The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, originally published as serials in the magazines Le Siècle and Journal des Débats. Dumas became a household name in France and a popular author throughout much of Europe.
His works have been translated into nearly 100 languages and his popular novels have inspired numerous adaptations to the stage and screen.
A prolific playwright, historian, and author he wrote many essays, magazine articles, short stories and novels, as well as plays and travelogues.
Dumas was a widely traveled man having visited numerous countries including Spain, England, the Netherlands, Germany, and North Africa and wrote of his experiences in his travel memoirs, the most popular of which were A Year in Florence (1841), From Paris to Cadiz (1847) and Travel Impressions: In Russia (1860).
However as the grandson of a woman slave from the Saint Domingue island (later renamed, Haiti), where his French father was born in 1762, Dumas was afraid of travelling to the USA for fear of being sold into slavery, where it still existed.
Dumas reputedly said to someone who insulted him about his mixed-race background:
“It is true. My father was a mulatto, my grandmother was a negress, and my great-grandparents were monkeys. In short, sir, my pedigree begins where yours ends.”
Though married to the actress Ida Ferrier, Dumas was notorious for his womanizing ways and romantic liaisons. He was known to have had around 40 mistresses, which resulted in the birth of at least four illegitimate children, including a son also named Alexandre Dumas, who went on to become a successful novelist and playwright. He was referred to as Dumas, fils (son), not to be confused with the elder Dumas who conventionally was known as Alexandre Dumas, père (father).
Dumas died on this day, December 5, 1870, in Puys, France and was buried in the cemetery of Villers-Cotterêts. In 2002, his body was moved to the Panthéon in Paris, where Dumas rests among such other French literary greats as Émile Zola, Victor Hugo and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.” – Alexandre Dumas