Talk:Alexandre Dumas

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Period is listed as "2001-2020". Really? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:00, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for spotting the error. It has now been fixed.--Chewings72 (talk) 05:18, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Was Alexandre Dumas a film writer??

In the second paragraph, In 1862, she gave birth to a son, Thomas-Alexandre, but she died soon thereafter. This is probably a typo for 1762. Can anyone confirm this?

Anyone got a source for 'inspired more than 200 motion pictures'? He is listed as writer for about 120 on the IMDB.

DJ Clayworth 16:18, 1 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Technically though, Alexandre Dumas, père was a quadroon, and not a mulatto, right? —Gabbe 14:22, Jun 22, 2004 (UTC)

The mention of mulatto is of his father, General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. —ccady 11:05 Aug 10, 2004 (PDT)

The discussion of his ethnicity in this article makes no sense to me. He father seems to certainly have been half Afro-Antilles and half French. But the article states that his mother was a black slave (possibly creole). Therefore, he was likely to be anywhere from 50-75% of African origin. However there seems to be a misunderstanding of this or lack of clarity of this in the article, unless one goes to read the article about his father. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:02, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

People have tried to clarify: Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy's mother was enslaved and his father was French, so he was classified as mulatto (and also, later after his father freed him, as a free person of color - gens du couleur libre, a specific class in colonial Saint-Domingue and France that meant a person of mixed ancestry.) As an adult, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas married a Frenchwoman in France, so their son Alexandre Dumas was three-quarters European/French and one-quarter African descent, or quadroon. Saint-Domingue had numerous people of mixed race, so Thomas-Alexandre's mother could have been a slave of mixed race, but the article on him notes there were several contemporary references that described her as black, suggesting she was mostly African in ancestry. By arranging a military education and career for Thomas-Alexandre, his father was passing on social capital to his mixed-race, natural son. Of course, Dumas also created his own achievements, as did his son.Parkwells (talk) 22:19, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Dispute: most widely read French author in the world ?[edit]

The first paragraph states that Dumas is "the most widely read French author in the world". This statement may be false as Jules Verne could be the "most widely...etc." Can anyone confirm? --Smiley77 15:34, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

He IS the most widely read French author in the world.
It MUST be so, because you say so.
Ach, grow up and do your research. Dumas is virtually unread today. Verne is the most widely read.
Who says Dumas is "virtually unread?" I work in a library, he is still more popular than Verne. Just a casual observation in one library...)(Verne has more books, so it would make sense if he was more widely read.

Wikiwarlock 15:17, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Verne did NOT have more books; and anyway, on that logic G.A. Henty (40+ books) is more widely read than the author of Gone With the Wind (1 book).

My 2 cents in this debate: Unfortunately I cannot access Amazon (com, ca, uk, fr, ...) for a quick look at the rankings. IMHO Dumas is more read by a wide margin. First the sheer book production. Dumas wrote hundreds of books. The 26 listed in this article is far from complete. I do believe I have read all of Verne’s fictional works. I have been reading new Dumas for decades still entering every used bookstore I see for discontinued Dumas books; still found some 2 weeks ago. Secondly by today’s standard Verne is more of an “early adolescent” level. I read Verne mostly between 8 and 16. It was great then, but was always disappointed by new books or re-reads after that. I read Dumas starting around 14 and never stopped, including re-reads in my mid20’s and 30’s still bringing great feelings. The way the author disserts on the human mind, social classes, injustices, philosophy, geography, politics are still pertinent in today’s globalized world filled with similar adventures. NOT to compare these 2 great authors that I love, but I do believe Dumas is read by 100's of millions of adults around the world, while Verne by 10's of millions of young adolescents.

The preceding comment is hereby seconded. Nobody reads Verne today, except in cartoon format. He's just not that good. Dumas is one of the most underestimated French authors, far better than Hugo. That's a subjective comment, in case nobody noticed, but in my opinion Dumas is one of the best historical fictionalists and satirists ever. //roger.duprat.copenhagen —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:12, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

About General Dumas[edit]

"Growing up, his mother's stories of his father's brave military deeds during the glory years of Napoleon I of France spawned Alexandre's vivid imagination for adventure and heroes. "

If General Dumas died in 1806, then he missed most of those "glory years" since the 1st Empire lasted from 1805 to 1815. I think we should rephrase this or verify the year of his death.

Also did his father die on the battlefield or due to battle wounds, or for something else? Just being curious. --WhiteEcho 04:33, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Napoleon was a General in the French Revolution (1789-1799) and was "First Consul" in the French Consulate (1799-1804). I guess the wording depends on what you consider "glory years." Not a very objective description, I agree. I've added an entry for Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. He died in 1806 from illnesses that he got while imprisoned in Italy. --ccady 00:46, 08 Aug, 2006 (PDT)

Additionally, why does the "Early Life" section suggest that Dumas "...took his mother's name, Dumas, after a break with his father"? Dumas's father died when Dumas himself was only 4 or 5; it seems likely that their worst falling out at that point would have been over bedtime/naps/etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:46, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

That sentence refers to Alexandre Dumas' father, General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, who was having a tiff with his father. Favonian (talk) 15:06, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

His paternal grandmother was a black slave.[edit]

So, is he 25% black or 50%? This is very confusing!

Why are we not told of the race and livelyhood of his other grandparents?

Because being 75% white was not such a big issue as being 25% black, that's why. It also showed that although his father was subject to racism as a child, he still managed to rise to the rank of General in the revolutionary army. Balzac was also often frowned upon for having black African blood. --WhiteEcho 04:29, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

If the article made that point in those terms, I would agree with you, but it doesn't. Instead, it perpetuates the "one drop" theory: that one drop of non-white blood makes you non-white. That theory was a primary bulwark of slavery. It was and is a primary bulwark of racism. It is perfectly legitimate to discuss Dumas' ancestry, but it is not legitimate to describe him as black when he was in fact of mixed race. That's what he was and that's how he should be described. I suggest we take as a model the way the point is handled in the article on Dumas fils, where the facts are plainly stated without wasting time on racial categorizations. Poihths (talk) 14:10, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Baaad typo: "Alexandre Dumas was born on July 24, 1602 ..." Well, I changed it to 1802, hope that is correct.


Why is this article called Alexandre Dumas, pere. Well I know why but wouldn't it make more sense to move it to Alexandre Dumas and have Alexandre Dumas, fils moved to Alexandre Dumas (1824–1895). This is usually what is done for people who are related and have the same name. T REXspeak 02:02, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Good question. The reason is because the author is generally known as "Alexandre Dumas, père," not just as Alexandre Dumas. His son became quite successful during his lifetime, so people during their lifetimes distinguished them with the appelations "père" and "fils." Ccady 19:03, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I think it's a bit strong to say he's "generally" known as such. He is sometimes known as "Alexandre Dumas, père", but he is often known as just "Alexandre Dumas". English-language editions of his works, for example, usually put just "Alexandre Dumas" on the cover, rarely including the "père" qualifier. --Delirium 07:54, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I think its best to move as well. The father is far more well-known currently than the son, so he should be simply Alexandre Dumas while the son could reamin at 'fils' or at the proposed (1824-1895) title. Millancad 22:31, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Since when is the author of La Dame aux Camellias less well known than the author of The Count of Monte Cristo? I see no basis in verifiable fact for this whatsoever. Personal supposition is not the basis for encyclopedic work.

Poihths (talk) 14:19, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

It's a really old discussion, but I should like to reawaken it. Is it really common in English-language sources to have him called "... père"? I find it quite unlikely. Go to the bookstore, pick up Three Musketeers off the shelf, and tell me what it says on the cover. Look for any "About the Author" section in the book, and tell me what name it uses to refer to the author. I can practically guarantee it'll say "Alexandre Dumas", without the "père". LordAmeth (talk) 00:45, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Personal impressions are not data, especially when the said personal impressions aren't even based on real-life experience, but only on a thought experiment. The fact is that if you search Google Books, the largest repository of published books on earth, you will find hundreds of thousands of usages of both pere and fils. Now that this article simply says "Alexandre Dumas" as if the other writer didn't exist, the reader has to dig into the article before one can even figure out which writer we're talking about. That's plain silly.

Poihths (talk) 14:19, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

And this is the English section of the wikipedia. There is a French section. Friendly Person (talk) 19:05, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Le Comte de Vermandois, Le Château de Blois, and Ravaillac[edit]

User: added these unsubstantiated claims. I have removed them. If they need to be readded, please cite a reputable source. Ccady 23:59, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

    • It is rarely known that Dumas had planned a fourth novel to end the D'Artagna Romances : "Le Comte de Vermandois", the title character beign the legitimized son of Louis XIV and La Vallière. Aramis would have had a final appearance, aged 80, as a duke and ambassador of Spain...
    • It is rarely known that Dumas had planned two other novels to end the Valois Romances : the fourth novel would have been "Le Château de Blois", beginning with the murder of the Duc de Guise and ending with the murder of Henri III ; the fifth novel would have been "Ravaillac", beginning with the crowning of Henri IV and ending with his murder by the title character...

Allissa Davis is really weird.[edit]

I found this phrase inside. Is it just an error or a vandalism ?

It was vandalism and I removed it. Ccady 15:23, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

1825 {{05th January}} Alexandre Dumas pare {père, pere} fights his 1st duel; his pants fall down[edit]

There are a variety of websites which say:

1825 Alexandre Dumas pare fights his 1st duel; his pants fall down

This was, as well, paraphrased by Keith Olbermann.

However, I think that this needs more validation. Do you have a further source?

< >;

< >.

What are pare, père, pere??

&, that quote is, frequenly, next to:

1822 Central America proclaims annexation to Mexican Empire

Do you have anything on that?

Thank You.

[[ hopiakuta | [[ [[%c2%a1]] [[%c2%bf]] [[ %7e%7e%7e%7e ]] -]] 14:01, 6 January 2007 (UTC)


The word "ghostwriters" is very inexact when applied to Dumas. He employed assistants of various kinds as well as uncredited collaborators, who apparently created first drafts that he would rewrite. Most of his great novels were written with collaborators, but many earlier and later works appear to be his sole work. In some cases friends or acquaintances brought him their own manuscripts to revise and publish for their mutual benefit ("The Two Dianas" being one instance, which doesn't have much of the Dumas touch). To make matters more complicated, he also "presented" some works in French translations. English publishers subsequently published these stories under Dumas' name as his work ("Robin Hood") and even subsumed later pastiches, with which Dumas had nothing at all to do, mixing them into their sets of Dumas' work ("Countess of Monte Cristo," "Son of Porthos," etc.)

Might we rephrase as "assistants and uncredited collaborators"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


We have this reference to support the inclusion of the category. I do not believe the reference is sufficient. What do others think? --John (talk) 00:11, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move Alexandre Dumas, pèreAlexandre Dumas. No consensus to move the other page; if someone wants to continue that discussion, please start a new move request at Talk:Alexandre Dumas, fils. Jafeluv (talk) 04:00, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Alexandre Dumas, pèreAlexandre Dumas — I have no idea how this article name has lasted so long, but it clearly goes against Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). In the English-speaking world he is most often known simply as Alexandre Dumas. StAnselm (talk) 22:50, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Simply that it's not English. StAnselm (talk) 07:59, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Sure it is. I just opened up a USA Bantam English translation of the Count of Monte Cristo and the two are referred to as père and fils in the biosketch. And the OED agrees:

père, n.

2. Used after a surname to distinguish a father from a son or sons of that name; senior. Cf. FILS n.1

1802 M. EDGEWORTH Let. 8 Dec. in M. Edgeworth in France & Switzerland (1979) 58 M. Delessert père at a card table with another gentleman. 1858 O. W. HOLMES Autocrat of Breakfast-table 28 Raspail, père, used to date every proof he sent to the printer. 1893 E. DOWSON Let. c28 Nov. (1967) 299, I am dining with Horne & Horne Père at the Constitutional tonight. 1907 M. A. VON ARNIM Fräulein Schmidt xxxiii. 120 Collins père is a person who makes nails in Manchester. 1948 E. S. TURNER Boys will be Boys v. 80 It will be seen that there was a Harkaway père and a Harkaway fils. 2003 Scotl. on Sunday (Nexis) 18 May 7 The early musical inventiveness and skill that was to lead Strauss père to global success.


The son, junior: appended to a name to distinguish between a father and son of the same name.

1886 Athenæum 30 Oct. 565/1 Athanase Coquerel fils does not seem to have had any great distinction..of style. 1889 E. DOWSON Let. 24 Mar. (1967) 54 Dumas fils easily first. 1936 OGDEN & RICHARDS Meaning of Meaning (ed. 4) v. 89 Mill fils in his editorial notes on this passage holds [etc.]. 1965 House & Garden Mar. 42 Russell père had been in banking... Russell fils..thought this a bit-too-cramping project.

The Reader's Encyclopedia of World Drama (John Gassner, Edward Quinn) and Merriam-Webster's encyclopedia of literature also use these forms. — AjaxSmack 02:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm neutral on renaming the father; I'm opposed to the proposed rename of the son, though I query the current name:

  • There is no doubt that the father's work is known to more English speakers than the son's. Whether this extends to the men themselves, and whether the degree of excess is sufficiently great to merit being the default target, is not so clearcut. But I can see no justification for "Basename" redirecting to "Basename (disambiguation)"; since this apperas to be a variant of that pattern, the move makes sense.
  • Regarding the son, Wikipedia has multiple policies, which are sometimes in conflict with each other. In this case, WP:ENGLISH conflicts with WP:COMMONNAME. The French word fils is commonly used for the son in English sources. If we are to render the names as fully as possible into English, then "Alexandre" should be changed to "Alexander". The disambiguator "dramatist" is inappropriate, since the father also wrote plays.
  • Regarding the formatting: I'm not sure about the comma. When the forename is omitted, there is never a comma in "Dumas père" or "Dumas fils". When the full name is given, there is rarely a comma in French (e.g. fr:Alexandre Dumas fils); while a comma is less rare in English, I think "Alexandre Dumas fils" is more common than "Alexandre Dumas, fils". jnestorius(talk) 18:12, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

jnestorius(talk) 18:12, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Support moving article on the father per nom. I'd love to see some evidence of what English-speakers call the son. Perhaps Alexandre Dumas (son) would be an appropriate disambiguator? Dohn joe (talk) 23:26, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
    • As I noted above, one English edition of a Dumas book uses père and fils. Also note these sources: [1][2][3][4][5]. As you can see, père and fils are the standard English disambiguators. — AjaxSmack 02:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC) So I'll be direct...
  • Support the first proposed move (of père). Oppose the second proposed move (of fils) per WP:UCN (use common names) and WP:NCDAB ("When there is another term or more complete name that is equally clear and is unambiguous, that may be used.").
  • Support the move of pere (no opinion about fils). Primary topics don't need disambiguation. --Kotniski (talk) 09:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Support moving the elder Dumas to Alexandre Dumas. Oppose moving Alexandre Dumas, fils unless it is to remove the comma; he is commonly known as such even in English, though my unscientific recollection is that I've seen the version without the comma more often in English text. Gavia immer (talk) 05:38, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I still support moving the dad. As for the son, I've done a Google Books English-language search for the last 30 years, and it looks like "Alexandre Dumas fils" (without the comma) wins hands down (of the first 100 results, 68 had no comma, 8 had a comma, and 7 had parentheses/brackets (17 were actually in French, despite the English filter)). Do I need to make a separate move request for that, or can it be handled here as part of this move request? If we can do it here, then I would propose Alexandre Dumas, filsAlexandre Dumas fils. Dohn joe (talk) 18:14, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I added a movenotice template on Alexandre Dumas, fils, which should have had it before. So long as the move request is closed seven days after the template was added, there shouldn't be an issue with closing that move to whatever target is decided on here. Gavia immer (talk) 19:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Henry Bauer[edit]

"His other children were Marie-Alexandrine Dumas (5 March 1831—1878) who later married Pierre Petel and was daughter of Belle Krelsamer (1803—1875), Micaëlla-Clélie-Josepha-Élisabeth Cordier, born in 1860 and daughter of Emélie Cordier, and Henry Bauer, born of an unknown mother."

How can Dumas be Bauers father, when Bauer was born over sixty years after Dumas' death? I admit I don't know anything about either of them, it just struck me as odd, as I doubt they had the technology to freeze semen in the 19th century... Possibly they are related in some other way, but this is not clear in the text. TheIncredibleNix 21:19, 1 August 2011 (UTC)


It does not mention his death n the section headed death. How did he die?--Timtak (talk) 17:55, 27 September 2011 (UTC)


one of the post-mortem (modern) developments not covered by the Dumas page is the inspiration for the written work "The Club Dumas" by Arturo Perez-Reverte. this in turn inspired the Polanski film "The Ninth Gate", though the film fails to showcase Alexandre Dumas as does the original novel.-- self-ref (nagasiva yronwode) (talk)

Dumas is one of those seminal novelists whose legacy is felt throughout subsequent literature. Listing works or novelists that were inspired by Dumas or his work is somewhat pointless as the list is endless, as with Dickens, Shakespeare, Hugo etc. Span (talk) 21:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Dumas as chef[edit]

When I visited the Alexandre Dumas museum (on the site of his former residence "Monte Cristo"), there was much mention of the fact that, at least during his lifetime, he was also well-known for his talents as a chef - he organised large banquets for his friends for which he did the cooking and published several quite successful books of original recipes.

Can anyone shed any further light on that aspect of his career in the main article? Partnerfrance (talk) 19:03, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Repeated mentions of ethnicity[edit]

the term "black" is often used in the West to describe people whose skin is darker (not exactly "black"). Hence, the usage of the term "black" is undue. Use something more perspicuous. He was "black french" seems redundantly awkward and perplexing to me. It can raise a number questions in the mind of a person who is not familiar with the western connotations of the term "Black". Also, the article does mention quite clearly that he was a descendent of slaves. If you want to still allude to his ethnicity, then please use African french or something like that to make it clear.

Keep it neutral and as objectively correct as possible. Cheers, Mr T(Talk?) (New thread?) 11:04, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Ancestry shouldn't even be mentioned in the lead according to WP:OPENPARA. Favonian (talk) 11:21, 20 January 2013 (UTC)


This site seems to have the most complete collection of Dumas' novels, even better than Gallica which is missing some volumes. In multiple formats, in French. (talk) 18:44, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Date of first play[edit]

Is there a source for the claim, made in the article, that Henry III and His Courts [sic] was, "His first play"? The biographical article in my edition of The Count of Monte Cristo says, "Many plays and numerous mistresses later, Dumas scored an enormous success with Henry III and His Court (1829), a play which helped to inaugurate the new Romantic drama..." This biography says he wrote his first plays in 1825 and 1826. This biography describes him finishing one play in 1820 and writing two more the following year, collaborations, admittedly, but then goes on to say, "A minor theatrical success in 1825 had given Dumas all the encouragement he needed..." and goes on to say he had at least his second play on the stage before the end of 1826. This biography repeats the claim that he wrote plays in 1825 and 1826. There appears to be plenty of evidence that Henry III was not his first play.

I also challenge the claim made in the article that,"Dumas refers to Grisier with great respect in The Count of Monte Cristo..." In that novel, Grisier appears in chapter 40 (The Guests), where a character, Albert de Morcerf, is described as someone who, "cultivated with far more perseverance than music and drawing, the three arts that complete a dandy's education, i.e. fencing, boxing, and single-stick; and it was in this apartment that he received Grisier, Cook, and Charles Lecour." No mention of or intimation of respect, he merely says a dandy received Grisier in his apartment. There is also no evidence that Dumas ever took fencing lessons, with Grisier or anyone else, he merely wrote the preface to Grisier's novel The Fencing Master, so it would be quite wrong to describe Grisier as, "his fencing master," unless you have a source for that claim too.Cottonshirtτ 11:09, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Alexandre Dumas/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article as it stands is extremely weak. There needs to be a full narrative of Dumas' life and work - and his influence on Alexandre Dumas fils. This fragmentary article as it stands most certainly isn't it.

Last edited at 04:01, 5 December 2010 (UTC). Substituted at 07:14, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

File:Nadar - Alexander Dumas père (1802-1870) - Google Art Project 2.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Nadar - Alexander Dumas père (1802-1870) - Google Art Project 2.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on July 24, 2016. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2016-07-24. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 00:32, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870) was a French writer. His works have been translated into nearly 100 languages, and he is one of the most widely read French authors. Many of his historical novels of high adventure were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later.

Photograph: Nadar
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

More Vandalism?[edit]

I've deleted the following and its reference from the Career section: "The modern style of Charles Baudelaire inspired Dumas to create a symbolist style of poetry in France." It seems improbable, the purported reference is not a reliable source but a child/young adult history of France, and Baudelaire was 8 years old at the point in Dumas's career where the information is inserted.--Jackaroodave (talk) 02:23, 20 March 2017 (UTC)