Why Alexandre Dumas Is Great!

But dereWhy Alexandre Dumas Is Great:

Alexandre Dumas and the style & structure with which he wrote The Count de Monte Cristo is the

Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas

template stylistically and structurally for every piece of fiction that I have written under my R.G. Taark fiction pen name!  And then the style changes a little with my Doug Franklin books because typically those have been relaxation, learning, or business task-oriented.  I have de-published several books that no longer apply.

Personal Reasons Why Dumas is Excellent:

The style and structure were dialogue and character experience are the primary methods of telling the story which I emulate with everything I write.

I have described it this way probably a thousand times, but each chapter is like its own pearl, a self-contained beauty of a short story.  Then those chapters are strung together to make a more cohesive and artfully assembled whole, like a pearl necklace.

My path to writing was literally two books long.  I read a canned-ham mass-market sci-fi book that read like 1/3rd mad-libs describing the same function, 1/3rd rehashed old prior book plots, and 1/5th new plot, followed by the remainder being completely unmemorable.

And then I picked up The Count of Monte Cristo!  I saw the movie, which I enjoyed, and was blown away by how much better the book was!

Nine Professional Reasons Why Dumas Stands Out:

We can step back and look at the academic reasons why Alexandre Dumas and his work are so highly rated.  Dumas is considered great for several reasons, making him a prominent figure in the world of literature and beyond.

  • Prolific Writing:

    • Dumas was an incredibly prolific writer, producing a vast body of work that includes novels, plays, essays, and more. His ability to consistently create engaging and entertaining stories is a testament to his literary talent.
  • Timeless Stories:

    • Dumas created stories that have endured for generations. Works like “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo” continue to be celebrated and adapted into various forms of media. His storytelling transcends time and culture.
  • Complex Characters:

    • Dumas was skilled at crafting complex and memorable characters. His protagonists, such as Edmond Dantès and d’Artagnan, are multifaceted and relatable, which adds depth to his narratives.
  • Themes of Justice and Revenge:

    • Many of Dumas’s works explore themes of justice, revenge, and the human condition. He delved into moral dilemmas and the consequences of one’s actions, which resonates with readers on a profound level.
  • Adventure and Excitement:

    • Dumas was a master of adventure and excitement in literature. His stories are filled with swashbuckling action, daring escapades, and intricate plots that keep readers engaged from beginning to end.
  • Historical Context:

    • Dumas often set his stories against the backdrop of historical events and periods. His meticulous research and ability to weave fictional characters into real historical contexts added authenticity and educational value to his works.
  • Universal Appeal:

    • Dumas’s stories have a universal appeal that transcends age, nationality, and background. They speak to fundamental human desires and emotions, making them accessible to a wide audience.
  • Cultural Impact:

    • Dumas’s influence extends beyond literature. His works have inspired countless adaptations, including films, TV series, and stage productions. He has left an indelible mark on popular culture.
  • Legacy:

    • Alexandre Dumas’s legacy endures through his works, which continue to captivate and inspire readers and creators alike. His contributions to literature have earned him a lasting place in the literary canon.

Alexandre Dumas’s greatness lies in his ability to create timeless stories filled with memorable characters, adventure, and moral depth.  His works have had a profound impact on literature and continue to be celebrated for their enduring appeal and cultural significance.

Was Alexandre Dumas Black?

Alexandre Dumas had African ancestry through his paternal grandmother, Marie-Louise Élisabeth Labouret. His paternal grandmother was of Afro-Caribbean descent.  Alexandre Dumas’ father was a General in the French Army, while his mother was a French innkeeper.  His heritage is sometimes referred to as “Black” or “African” ancestry.  Dumas himself did not identify as Black.

Dumas was born in France in 1802.  While his heritage may have included African ancestry, he is primarily known as a French writer and is celebrated for his contributions to literature, particularly his historical novels and adventure stories.

Alexandre Dumas is sometimes acknowledged for his Afro-Caribbean heritage as a symbol of diversity in literature. Because it’s crucial to recognize that his identity and legacy are primarily associated with his literary achievements rather than his racial background.

As a child of the US Army, I really only see Green.  So the new divisions cultivated upon racial, ethnic, and a thousand other lines bother me greatly.

Alexandre Dumas quotes:

“All for one and one for all!” – This famous line from “The Three Musketeers” has become an enduring symbol of unity and camaraderie.

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.” – This quote, also from “The Count of Monte Cristo,” reflects Dumas’s themes of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more.” – This thought-provoking quote from “The Count of Monte Cristo” touches on the idea that our perception of happiness and misery is relative.

“It’s necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.” – This reflective quote from “The Count of Monte Cristo” underscores the value of life and the contrast between despair and appreciation.

“All human wisdom is summed up in two words – wait and hope.” – From “The Count of Monte Cristo,” this quote encapsulates the idea of patience and optimism in the face of challenges.

Books By Alexandre Dumas In Order:

Here are the major Alexandre Dumas stories ordered by their publication date:

  1. Captain Paul (Le Capitaine Paul, 1838),
  2. Captain Pamphile (Le Capitaine Pamphile, 1839),
  3. The Countess of Salisbury (La Comtesse de Salisbury; Édouard III, 1836), published in 1839,
  4. Othon the Archer (Othon l’archer 1840),
  5. The Fencing Master (Le Maître d’armes, 1840),
  6. Castle Eppstein; The Spectre Mother (Chateau d’Eppstein; Albine, 1843),
  7. Amaury (1843),
  8. The Conspirators (Le chevalier d’Harmental, 1843),
  9. Ascanio (1843), written in collaboration with Paul Meurice,
  10. Georges (1843),
  11. The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires, 1844),

  12. The Corsican Brothers (Les Frères Corses, 1844),
  13. The Nutcracker (Histoire d’un casse-noisette, 1844): (a revision of Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, later set by composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to music for a ballet also called The Nutcracker.),
  14. Louis XIV and His Century (Louis XIV et son siècle, 1844),
  15. La Reine Margot, also published as Marguerite de Valois (1845),
  16. The Regent’s Daughter (Une Fille du régent, 1845). (Sequel to The Conspirators.),
  17. The Count of Monte Cristo (Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, 1844–46),

  18. The Two Dianas (Les Deux Diane, 1846),
  19. La Dame de Monsoreau (1846),
  20. The Forty-Five Guardsmen (1847) (Les Quarante-cinq),
  21. The Vicomte de Bragelonne, sometimes called Ten Years Later (Le Vicomte de Bragelonne, ou Dix ans plus tard, 1847),
  22. The Pale Lady (1849): (A vampire tale about a Polish woman who is adored by two very different brothers.),
  23. The Black Tulip (La Tulipe noire, 1850),
  24. Olympe de Cleves (1851–52),
  25. Catherine Blum (1853–54),
  26. The Page of the Duke of Savoy, (1855),
  27. The Wolf Leader (Le Meneur de loups, 1857): (One of the first werewolf novels ever written).
  28. The Horoscope: A Romance of the Reign of François II (1858),
  29. Salvator (Salvator. Suite et fin des Mohicans de Paris, 1855–1859),
  30. The Last Vendee, or the She-Wolves of Machecoul (Les louves de Machecoul, 1859),
  31. La Sanfelice (1864),
  32. Pietro Monaco, sua moglie Maria Oliverio ed i loro complici, (1864),
  33. The Prussian Terror (La Terreur Prussienne, 1867),
  34. The Dove – the sequel to Richelieu and His Rivals,
  35. The Prince of Thieves (Le Prince des voleurs, 1872, posthumously),

  36. Robin Hood the Outlaw (Robin Hood le proscrit, 1873, posthumously). Sequel to Le Prince des voleurs

Please note that Dumas wrote many series and novels over the years, and this list encompasses his major works ordered by their publication dates.  It’s a pretty overwhelming task to get them all straight!  There are Fiction works, poetry, plays, history, and romance series in the mix.

The fact that Dumas wrote Robin Hood just blows my mind!

Also, there is a lot of work that I need to do to catch up on the rest of this reading list!

Alexandre Dumas Books On My Shelf:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count Of Monte Cristo:

Dumas’ ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ is one of my favorite all-time books!  But, I first purchased this book on 5 December 2014, but with the purchase of Random House, Penguin updated the book cover on its Amazon listing.

Cover your ears and eyes, but there are large parts of this book that I like BETTER than the Lord of the Rings, and Tolkien’s books.  Sorry, for integrity’s sake, I had to voice that bit of heresy.

Count of Monte Cristo amzn purchase
Count of Monte Cristo Amazon Purchase

The Count of Monte Cristo Summary:

The Count of Monte Cristo tells the story of Edmond Dantès, a sailor who is wrongly accused of treason and imprisoned for 14 years.  After escaping from prison, Dantès adopts the identity of the wealthy and mysterious Count of Monte Cristo and seeks revenge against those who betrayed him.  The novel is a mystery that unfolds as you explore themes of justice, revenge, and the consequences of one’s actions.

Everyone gets what they deserve, be it mercy & hope, or justice, vengeance & destruction.

Why I Like The Count of Monte Cristo:

The unabridged version of the Count of Monte Cristo is great because as a reader you are led through seemingly disparate scenarios that all tie neatly together.

The story is so intricate and well told that when you finish reading it feels like you want to go right back and start over again to catch all the pieces that you missed the first time!  But you remember every nugget and have all those ‘ah-ha!’ moments that tie the story together.

Dantès ruthlessly pursues and tests each one of those who betrayed him with grit and determination that I admire.  There is an Army joke about ‘Don’t get a pissed off Infantryman on your ass!’.  And Edmond spoke to that trait in me.

What Frustrated Me About The Count of Monte Cristo:

The attitude of classic French nobility.

It drives me BATTY!

This is pretty much a common theme throughout the three major Dumas works that I have read.  Dantès is awesome through something like twelve-hundred-sixty-eight (1268) pages, right up until the final four pages!  Then he makes a 180* turn into a whiney French surrender monkey!

I went into conniption fits over that!

Then it took Edmond receiving a firm talking to by ‘the other character’ I was routing for to get him to pull his head out of his third point of contact.  That was when he straightened up and started acting right again.

The Three Musketeers:

This tome of a book was a gift after I was seen reading ‘The Count of Monte Cristo‘.  I have no idea where it came from.

Alexandre Dumas Complete and Unabridged Three Novels
Alexandre Dumas Complete and Unabridged Three Novels

The Three Musketeers Summary:

‘The Three Musketeers’ follows the adventures of d’Artagnan, a young and ambitious countryman who travels to Paris to join the king’s musketeers.  d’Artagnan befriends three skilled musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.  Together, they become embroiled in political intrigue, duels, and thwarting Cardinal Richelieu’s plots.

Why I Like The Three Musketeers:

The Three Musketeers had enjoyable action and a definable mission to help defend the kingdom.

What Frustrated Me About The Three Musketeers:

The French noble attitude, again!  In particular at the ending third.  I just got the feeling that they did not want to act decisively.

As an Army guy, I’m pretty messed up in the head about stuff like that, and it may just be my own modern prejudices at work.  I am probably being too hard on characters hundreds of years out of my time if that makes sense.

The Man In The Iron Mask:

Dumas’ ‘Man In the Iron’ Mask Summary:

‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ centers around the mysterious prisoner who is secretly held in luxury captivity in the Bastille.  The plot revolves around the efforts of the Musketeers, including d’Artagnan, to uncover the identity of the prisoner and the political intrigues surrounding him.  The prisoner is Philippe, the twin brother of King Louis XIV, who has been imprisoned to prevent any challenge to the king’s rule. The story explores themes of power, identity, and loyalty in the context of 17th-century France.

Why I Like The Man In the Iron Mask:

The king was corrupt and cruel and the team discovered that they had the opportunity to place the more deserving twin on the throne.  The moral dilemma of who goes where places the characters in opposition to the state and their own moralities.

I really liked the story, not because of the end, which drove me NUTS, but because of the emotional connection I had with their struggle.  This story left me fully vested in the outcome and wanted the better man to prevail.

I was emotionally vested in the story from very early on.  That is the sign of truly magnificent writing.

What Frustrated Me About Man In the Iron Mask:

Here we go again, with the French nobility attitude again…

At the end of ‘The Man In The Iron Mask’, I felt like I was watching my favorite sports team going in for halftime and never bothering to come out for the second half.  It was like watching them fold, and get run all over by the other team.

And then to salt the wound of watching ‘my team’ steamrolled in the second half, it was like there was a pat on the head and my favorite player swapped jerseys in the final quarter and played the rest of the game for the other team.

You’ll need to read it to find out what I mean.

And That’s Why Alexandre Dumas Was Great:

Alexandre Dumas is great and one of my favorite authors because all three of his major works that I have read have kept me emotionally engaged in the outcomes until the very, bitter, end!

Never was was disengaged from the storytelling.  And while I might disagree with the characters and their decisions, I always either root for or rage along the written lines.

Alexandre Dumas is a captivating storyteller, with fantastic dialogue, superb pacing, and deeply intelligent plots.

I hope that you can find the time to enjoy his work as much as I have.


  • Doug






Doug F

Dad. Little green Army guy. Over-thinker. All I want out of life is an honest week's pay for an honest day's work!

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