One of the most widely read French authors famed for his historical fiction of high adventure, Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) wrote more than a hundred plays and novels, including the famous Three Musketeers trilogy, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Man in the Iron Mask. His books have been translated into more than 100 languages.
Gil Blas in Californiaby Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas' works have been translated into nearly 100 languages and he is one of the most widely read French authors. Many of his historical novels of high adventure were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. His novels have been adapted since the early twentieth century for nearly 200 films.
It seems extraordinary that a story of American life, and especially so competently written a tale of so romantic a period in American expansion as the California gold-rush of '49 should have been "lost" to American readers so long. But it has been, for since it was published in Brussels in 1852, no English translation of the petit original volume has been discovered. Californie appeared shortly after Dumas had reached the zenith of his career. Le Comte de Monte Cristo was far behind; Le Vicomte de Bragelonne was fresh from his fecund mind; so, too, were La Tulipe noire and Olympe de Cleves. Ahead were Les Blancs et les Bleus, Les Louves de Machecoul, and -- his ruinous newspaper ventures in Paris. One may speculate to no end and with little profit on the circumstances surrounding the writing of Californie. One can't help but wonder, at the same time, if it might not have been the subject of numerous reminiscential conversations between Dumas and his last great love -- Ada Isaacs Menken -- Mazeppa, boasting that she had never "lived with Houston; it was General Jackson, and Methuselah, and other big men" -- who, from captivating the hearts of California gallants, dashed to the arms of the King of Romance.
- Wildside Press
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