Lewis Jones

A dark family past

Like the Dombeys, Pitts, Amises et al, les Dumas are famously père et fils, but there was of course also a grand-père, Thomas-Alexandre, or ‘Alex’ the first, who was a wildly romantic figure, a gallant and tragic hero, and the defining influence on his son’s life and work.

In his memoirs, of which he devotes more than 200 pages to his father’s life, the author of The Count of Monte Cristo, (Dumas père) remembers how, one night in 1806, when he was not yet four, he was woken with news of his father’s death: ‘taken by God’.

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