Dumas was born on July 24, 1802 in France.
Being the son of a well-known general in Napoleon's army,
Dumas had close ties with the resistance movement during the
Napoleonic era. Indeed
Dumas lived anything but a dull life.
As he grew as a play-writer, he also grew increasingly fond of
women, having several mistresses and fathering at least two
illegitimate children by them. Although
he did volunteer his services to the 1830 Revolution, his
Hemmingwayish lifestyle continued.
Eventually he had to take refuge outside of France in order to
escape his creditors. He
died in December of 1870 at the age of sixty-eight.
Though he had frivoled away nearly all his money, Dumas
maintained his brash mocking of death, saying, "I shall tell her a
story, and she will be kind to me."
Dumas will be remembered not only for The
Count of Monte Cristo, but also for his other major novels, The
Three Musketeers and The Man
in the Iron Mask. Although
on the surface, much of Dumas's writing is simple adventure, most of
Dumas's works have deeper meanings.
These meanings include man's relationship to God and one
another, man's sinful nature and greed, and man's ability to
forgive and be forgiven. Dumas
will go down in history as the most famous French novelist of his era
and perhaps of all time.