The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...
Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France
Pantheon Alexandre Dumas – Musketeers and cookery books! Sue Aran investigates the cuisine credentials of France’s most famous novelist – Alexandre Dumas… Pantheon In 2002, for the bicentennial of Alexandre Dumas’ birth, then French President Jacques Chirac arranged a ceremony honouring the renowned author by transferring his ashes to the Panthéon, a mausoleum for France’s most distinguished citizens, in Paris. The most read French novelist in the world, Dumas’ remains were laid to rest alongside those of Victor Hugo and Émile Zola, his casket was carried through the street of Paris by Four Republican guards dressed as the 4 Musketeers Dumas, wrote in an amazing variety of genres – plays, essays, short stories, histories, historical novels, romances, crime stories and travel books. And he also wrote a cookbook: the 1,150-page, Le Grand Dictionaire de Cuisine, for he was not only a prolific writer, but a consummate gourmet, cook and bon vivant. Alexandre Dumas was born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie in 1802 in Villars-Cotterêts, Picardy, France, to Marie-Louise Labouret and General Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie. Dumas’ nom de plume derives from his grandmother on his father’s side, Marie- Cosette Dumas, a Haitian slave, and his grandfather, the Marquis Alexandre-Antoine Davy de La Pailleterie. His father, Thomas-Alexandre, rose to the distinguished rank of general at the young age of 31 under Napoléon Bonaparte’s command, but died a few years later when Dumas was still a child. His mother, Marie- Louise, struggled to make ends meet and provide an education for her son using the few resources she had. The precocious Dumas’ young appetite lusted for literature and he read everything he could find, while his mother’s stories about his father’s bravery during Bonaparte’s campaigns fuelled his imagination. And, although poor, his paternal grandfather’s aristocratic lineage and his father’s illustrious reputation eventually helped him secure a place in school, and then, in 1822, at the age of 20, a position at the Palais Royal in Paris in the office of the Duc d’Orléans. In his spare time, while working for the Duc, Dumas began writing plays in a Romantic style similar to his contemporary (and later rival) Victor Hugo. They were so popular that he made enough money to quit his job and write full-time. In 1830, King of France Charles X was overthrown and the Duc d’Orléans became the ruler of France: King Louis-Philippe. By now Dumas was making good money and founded a writing studio with a willing cadre of assistants and collaborating writers. His novels including The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo were so popular they were first translated into English, and then into 68 | The Good Life France Château d'If Alexandre Dumas The Good Life France | 69
FREE The Good Life France ISSUE N
To Subscribe to THE GOOD LIFE FRANC
What to do and see in Aix You’d b
eautiful shady garden. This is one
Last Word LOCAL KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN T