illustration ©2005 Michael Manning



The famed author of The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Man in the Iron Mask was the grandson of a French nobleman and a black Haitian slave, and the son of a general in Napoleon's army. When Alexandre was four years old, his father died, and thereafter the family lived in poverty. Dumas worked as a clerk and secretary before beginning his writing career as a successful playwright. But his greatest notoriety came with the historical novels which were originally serialized in French newspapers, making him a wealthy man. Unfortunately his large income was insufficient to support his lavish lifestyle, and he spent much of his life fleeing from creditors until his death in 1870. Dumas produced 250 books, with the aid of 73 assistants including his uncredited collaborator Auguste Maquet. A Masked Ball was originally published as Un Bal Masqué in 1835, and became the basis of a Giuseppe Verdi opera, Un Ballo in Maschera, in 1859.


Adventure Classics:
Graphic Classics Volume 12

144 pages, b&w, $10