The Three Musketeers

How Race Played a Role in the Life and Work of Alexandre Dumas

Infatuated, half through conceit, half through love of my art, I achieve the impossible working as no one else ever works…” 

…once said Alexandre Dumas. Dumas was known for writing beloved adventure novels such as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. He was also known for his driven, kind, and original personality. What most people don’t know, however, was that Alexandre Dumas was Black.

 

 

Born in France in 1802, Dumas was the son of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, one of the highest-ranking men of African descent to lead a European army. Dumas’s paternal grandparents were a French nobleman and an enslaved Haitian woman. He was a “quadroon,” or someone who was a 1/4th black.

 

IMAGE VIA WIKIPEDIA

Because his family was of noble rank, Alexandre was able to begin working under the Duke of Orleans at the age of fourteen. While employed by the Duke, he began writing for various magazines and writing plays. Like his father before him, he took on his grandmother’s name Dumas. His first two plays, Henry III and his Courts and Christine, were both wildly successful, allowing him to pursue writing in his free time. He soon switched to writing novels, rewriting his play Le Capitaine Paul to be a serialized novel. His writing became known everywhere, being translated into English and several other languages. This success led to a lavish lifestyle of travel and excess. Unfortunately, Alexandre Dumas passed away from a heart attack in December 1870. He left behind a body of work and a legacy full of adventure.

IMAGE VIA of FREEBOOKSUMMARY.COM

Despite his noble background and success as a writer, Dumas had faced discrimination and racism due to ancestry and race. He wrote the novel, Georges, in 1843, which was about the son of a biracial plantation owner who faces discrimination due to his ancestry, despite appearing to be white. When he finds out his brother is sailing a slave ship, he leads a slave revolt. The revolt fails, and he is condemned to death but is saved at the last minute by his friends. Other than this, Dumas rarely wrote about race but did not suffer racism lightly. When someone tried to mock his ancestry, Dumas replied with trademark wit:

“My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a negro, and my great-grandfather was a monkey. You see, sir, my family starts where yours ends.”

IMAGE VIA GOODREADS

Alexandre Dumas was known for his thrilling stories, his equally thrilling life, and his incredible body of work. Now he can be remembered as a part of Black History too.

Featured image courtesy of blackhistory.com

 

Twelve Days of Bookmas

Happy Holidays to my favorite book nerds! Christmas is just around the corner so time to put a dent in your endless TBR bookshelves. We all know that you gave your book list to whoever is buying your gifts this year. Whether you’ve begun rereading your favorite books or finishing off a fantastic series, there’s no better challenge than reading a book every day. Have fun as we countdown to Christmas with these book recommendations.

 

On the first day of bookmas I opened up to see To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

Image via Amazon

On the second day of bookmas I opened up to see A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

Image via Amazon

On the third day of bookmas I opened up to see The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

Image via Amazon

On the fourth day of bookmas I opened up to see Four March Sisters, The Three musketeers, A Tale of two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

Image via Amazon

On the fifth day of bookmas I opened up to see Five Kings at War, Four March sisters, The Three Musketeers, A tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

GOT cover
Image via Wikapedia

On the sixth day of bookmas I opened up to see Six Austen Novels, Five Kings at War, Four March Sisters, The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

jane austen collection
Image via Amazon

On the seventh day of bookmas I opened up to see Seven Horocruxes, Six Austen Novels, Five Kings at War, Four March Sisters, The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

HP book 1 cover
Image via Amazon

On the eighth day of bookmas I opened up to see Eight Perfect Murders, Seven Horocruxes, Six Austen Novels, Five Kings at War, Four March Sisters, The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

 8 perfect murders cover
Image via Amazon

On the ninth day of bookmas I opened up to see Nine Rings of Power, Eight Perfect Murders, Seven Horocruxes, Six Austen Novels, Five Kings at War, Four March Sisters, The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

LOTR
Image via Amazon

On the tenth day of bookmas I opened up to see The Tenth Muse, Nine Rings of Power, Eight Perfect Murders, Seven Horocruxes, Six Austen Novels, Five Kings at War, Four March Sisters, The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

the tenth muse book cover
Image via Amazon

On the eleventh day of bookmas I opened up to see Station Eleven, The Tenth Muse, Nine Rings of Power, Eight Perfect Murders, Seven Horocruxes, Six Austen Novels, Five Kings at War, Four March Sisters, The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree.

station 11 book cover
Image via Amazon

On the twelfth day of bookmas I opened up to see Twelve Districts of Panem, Station Eleven, The Tenth Muse, Nine Rings of Power, Eight Perfect Mruders, Seven Horocruxes, Six Austen Novels, Five Kings at War, Four March Sisters, The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities and To Kill a Mockingbird underneath the tree!

THG book cover
Image via Amazon
Featured image via favecrafts

Killer Book Recommendations from Joe Goldberg

Warning: Spoilers for You are up ahead!

Netflix’s You has truly taken the world by storm. With a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes for season 1 and an overall score of 90%, it is not hard to see that the show is a good watch. And with a show centered around a book-loving serial killer, it only makes sense that we get a glimpse into the books Joe Goldberg enjoys enough to recommend them to other people – before he kills them.

 

 

Image Via Amazon

 

In the first episode of the series, Joe recommends this book to Beck, his primary target. The novel itself follows a couple, Otto and Sophie. After Sophie gets bitten by a stray she had been trying to feed, trouble begins to follow the couple. A series of small disasters magnify the issues in Sophie and Otto’s marriage as well as society.

 

Image Via Amazon

 

Joe, as a means to educate his young next-door neighbor, constantly lends Paco books. The classic story of Don Quixote is one of four recommendations Joe lends to the boy. Joe explains to Paco that the story is “about a guy who believes in chivalry so he decides to be an old school knight.” Joe also lends Paco The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Frankenstein.

 

Image Via Amazon

 

As part of an equal exchange, movie recommendations for book recommendations, Joe recommends a list of books to Ellie, the younger sister of his newest target in season 2. A book from Joe’s list is Bulgavok’s The Master and Margarita. The dark but comedic story takes place in the atheist Soviet Union and centers around a visit from the devil himself. Alongside a talking cat who likes vodka, a fanged hitman, a female vampire, and a valet, Satan wreaks havoc on Moscow’s elite.

 

 

The show also plays homage to some Honorable Mentions. These are books that Joe doesn’t actually recommend, but are referenced/seen in the show by him or other characters.

 

Image Via Amazon

As he questions Beck’s kind-of-boyfriend, Benji, Joe casually references Kerouac’s On the Road. This 1957 novel, based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends, follows two friends (narrator Sal Paradise and his friend Dean Moriarty) as they road trip across the United States. The story is broken up into 5 parts, three of which detail Sal’s road trip escapades with Dean.

 

Image Via Amazon

Throughout season 2, Joe can be seen reading the Michael R. Kats translation for Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky’s novel tells the story of a thief who wallows in the depths of his guilt after he plans to, and subsequently kills a shop owner. It can be assumed that Joe’s reading of this story reflects his guilt for killing Beck in season 1.

 

 

Image Via Amazon

After meeting Love, the woman recommends Joan Didion’s work to Joe. She describes the book as “a little dark,” and should make Joe feel “right at home.” Love’s sharing of this novel alludes to her own involvement with murder and mayhem. So, it comes to no surprise when Love shows her murderous side as season 2 comes to an end.

 

 

Image Via Amazon

While being trapped in the basement of Mr. Mooney’s bookstore as a child, Joe had ample time to read. So, when he sees an original edition of Ozma of Oz at Peach Salinger’s party, he quickly steals the book, as it reminds him of his time in the basement. The story, the third of Baum’s Oz series, details Dorothy’s second trip to Oz.

 

Feature Image via Elle.

 

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