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Arrival in Paris

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The Three Musketeers - title page   Duc d'Orleans
The Three Musketeers (1884): title-page
British Library 12515.k.33.9

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  Duc d'Orléans: Dumas' first employer in Paris: Les Rois contemporains (1849)
British Library 1329.i.11

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Medallion of Alexandre Dumas    
Medallion by David: Alexandre Dumas aged 27
British Library W5/5627, p.76

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In Paris Dumas secured a job as a junior clerk in the office of the Duc d'Orléans. His fellow clerks laughed at his unfashionable frock coat and mocked his kinky hair which stood out all over his head like a mane. He couldn't afford another coat, but he had a haircut. He was now working harder than he had in Villers-Cotterêts, and he still had no entry to the world of fashion and the arts.

But his situation improved when he moved in with Catherine Lebay - who was separated from her husband, owned a linen shop, and had two rooms on the same landing. At the same time Dumas began educating himself, reading widely and taking lessons in physics, chemistry and biology at a nearby hospital. Soon his first son, Alexandre, was born, and his mother arrived from Villers-Cotterêts. Now he had two households to support, but the Duc didn't pay enough and Dumas determined to write his way out trouble. He wrote a vaudeville sketch with two others, which was performed with mild success, but it was his first play, Christine, which he wrote in the evenings after work, that won him a commission from the Théâtre Français.

In the event the play was abandoned during rehearsals, but Dumas had begun to write another, Henri III et sa coeur, which turned out to be a huge success. After the performance a tumult of applause broke out, the audience standing up "as if seized by madness". Classical critics attacked the play, but its popularity was unassailable. Dumas had arrived.

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Dumas the dramatist - glass beads and corals Next - 'Dumas the dramatist - "glass beads and corals'

Introduction Introduction
Alexander Pushkin Alexander Pushkin
Alexandre Dumas
George Polgreen Bridgetower George Polgreen Bridgetower
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor John Archer
 
 
 
Discover more:
Introduction
Introduction
Alexander Pushkin
Alexander Pushkin
Alexandre Dumas
The Father - General Dumas
The father - General Dumas
Early life
Early life
Arrival in Paris
Dumas the dramatist - "glass beads and corals
Dumas the dramatist - "glass beads and corals"
Time of transition
Time of transition
A new career - the novelist
A new career - the novelist
Mulatto!
Mulatto!
The forgotten man
The forgotten man
The giant falls
The giant falls
George Polgreen Bridgetower
George Polgreen Bridgetower
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
John Archer
John Archer
 
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