Alexandre Dumas, père Biography | Author of The Three Musketeers

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Alexandre Dumas was born on July 24, 1802, in Villers-Coterêts, north of Paris. His father was a soldier in Napoleon's army and his mother was the daughter of a local innkeeper. However, his grandfather was a marquis, and his grandmother was a slave in what is now Haiti. Throughout his life, his part-African ancestry would fascinate Parisians, who found it exotic; some made racist comments about him but were usually charmed by his witty responses.

Dumas's father died when he was four years old and left the family penniless. Dumas learned to read and write from his mother, his sister, and a neighbor but spent most of his time hunting and fishing in the forest near his home instead of studying. When he was sixteen, he met two friends, Vicomte Adolphe Ribbing de Leuven and Amedee de La Ponce, both highly educated, who encouraged Dumas to read widely...

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This section contains 596 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Three Musketeers Study Guide
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The Three Musketeers from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.