General Dumas : the missing giant Vous êtes ici : Accueil > English > Dumas's life > His close relations
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Alexandre Dumas's father (1762-1806) won fame through a brilliant military career under the Revolution : he started as private and it took him seven years to become a general. Son of a French aristocrat, Alexandre Davy de La Pailleterie, living in Santo Domingo (then Haiti), and of a black slave, Marie-Césette Dumas, this mulatto was characterized by his exceptional strength and his bravoury. Very close to Bonaparte during the early years of the latter's rise, General Dumas quarreled with the future emperor during the campaign of Egypt. Naples's kindom took him prisoner while he was going back to France, and he spent two years in jail. When released, in 1801, his health had seriously deteriorated. He spent the last years of his life in Viller-Cotterêts, where Alexandre Dumas was born in 1802, and where the general died in 1806, on February 26th. Although hardly known by the future writer, his father will greatly influence his works. The mythical figure of the dauntless giant appears in Dumas's novels, and Porthos is the main example of this influence.
© Société des Amis d'Alexandre Dumas
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