He was a trifle fat but he had a way with women, and this French novelist loved to boast that he had over 500 children.
His grandfather was a French nobleman and his grandmother was an enslaved African woman. Thomas, his father was taken to France where he was educated in a military academy and he later had an illustrious military career. Thomas, though married, “in the tradition of Frenchmen of higher social class, had numerous affairs and was known to have had at least four ‘illegitimate’ children, including this famous novelist.
Consume a large meal
This son was an epicure and a gourmet, he was nearly as famous for his ability to concoct a sauce or roast a duck as for his ability to write a novel. He could consume a meal of caviar, pate de foie gras, fish, filet mignon, roast partridge, half a dozen kind of vegetables, and top it off with vast quantities of cheese, but he never drank liquor or coffee, and he never smoked.
Forgot about food
But when Alexander Dumas wrote, he didn’t care about food; and sometimes even forgot to eat. If a friend dropped in to see him, he simply held out his left hand in greeting and kept scribbling with his right hand.
Some of Dumas’ most famous books include: Robinson Crusoe, Don Quixote, Treasure Island, and The Three Musketeers.
He was temperamental about the writing paper and pens he used. He would only write novels on blue paper and poetry on yellow pad. Novels required one set of pens while poetry required another. Articles for magazines were written on rose-colored paper. He never used blue ink. When he wrote a play, he could not sit at his desk. Instead, he would lied down on a sofa with a soft pillow propped under his elbow.
During his life he wrote over one-hundred plays and over one-thousand, two-hundred novels and histories. Duman earned over five million dollars—far surpassing other writers of his age, but he was frequently insolvent because he spent lavishly on women and sumptuous living. Dumas spent his old age in poverty, loneliness and neglect. He has to pawn his jewelry and his overcoat to pay the rent and he would have gone hungry if his son hadn’t paid the grocery bills.
“Despite his success, he had to deal with discrimination related to his mixed-race ancestry. In 1843 he wrote a short novel, Georges, that addressed some of the issues of race and the effects of colonialism.”