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General Alexandre Dumas

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General Alexandre Dumas

Postby jf42 » November 28th, 2012, 10:19 am

Just listened to a reading on BBC Radio 4 from "The Black Count", a life of Alexandre Dumas, son of a French planter and an African slave born on Santo Domingo, who rose from the ranks of the Regiment de Dragons 'La Reine' to be a general de division under Napoleon in Italy. A redoubtable light cavalryman, he was allegedly dubbed the Schwarze Teufel ("Black Devil," Diable Noir in French) by the Austrians.

Apparently, his son Alexandre Dumas ( 'pere') based his novel 'The Count of Monte Cristo' on the general's imprisonment in Naples when shipwrecked on his way home from Egypt in 1799.

Clearly not written by a military historian, it is still a fascinating story- and I for one knew nothing of this. Repeated this evening and 'downloadable' from BBC iPlayer.
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Re: General Alexandre Dumas

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » November 28th, 2012, 4:35 pm

Thanks for posting this. There's interesting information about Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, one of France's most able generals, on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas-Alexandre_Dumas

His son's novel The Count of Monte Cristo is a big book but well worth reading. The text is online: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1184/1184-h/1184-h.htm

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Re: General Alexandre Dumas

Postby Josh&Historyland » October 24th, 2013, 5:06 pm

I just got this book, the Black Count, it looks really good.

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Re: General Alexandre Dumas

Postby DaveH » June 5th, 2016, 9:20 pm

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Re: General Alexandre Dumas

Postby charnock » June 6th, 2016, 1:38 pm

There is also a full biography in English: General Alexandre Dumas; Soldier of the French Revolution, by John G. Gallaher, published by Southern Illinois University in 1997. As you might suspect, the book is fairly academic in contrast to The Black Count, which I found pretty lightweight, with some small but annoying errors, and a completely uncritical view of its protagonist.
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Re: General Alexandre Dumas

Postby jf42 » June 8th, 2016, 7:54 pm

charnock wrote:There is also a full biography in English: General Alexandre Dumas; Soldier of the French Revolution, by John G. Gallaher, published by Southern Illinois University in 1997. As you might suspect, the book is fairly academic in contrast to The Black Count, which I found pretty lightweight, with some small but annoying errors, and a completely uncritical view of its protagonist.


Thanks for the pointer. Yes from the readings in the radio, "The Black Count" did sound like a novel at times and the 'small but annoying errors' were what prompted me to conclude that the author was not a military historian.
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Re: General Alexandre Dumas

Postby DaveH » July 24th, 2016, 9:18 am

Interestingly, Tom Holland, the Ancients specialist is just getting into Napoleonics and has tweeted about Dumas. best story about him at Mantua capturing an Austrian spy - although Nap used it to cover his own black ops.
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