Alexandre Dumas was born on July 24, 1802 in France. Being the son of a well-known general in Napoleon's army, Dumas had close ties with the resistance movement during the Napoleonic era. Indeed Dumas lived anything but a dull life. As he grew as a play-writer, he also grew increasingly fond of women, having several mistresses and fathering at least two illegitimate children by them. Although he did volunteer his services to the 1830 Revolution, his Hemmingwayish lifestyle continued. Eventually he had to take refuge outside of France in order to escape his creditors. He died in December of 1870 at the age of sixty-eight. Though he had frivoled away nearly all his money, Dumas maintained his brash mocking of death, saying, "I shall tell her a story, and she will be kind to me."
Alexandre Dumas will be remembered not only for The Count of Monte Cristo, but also for his other major novels, The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask. Although on the surface, much of Dumas's writing is simple adventure, most of Dumas's works have deeper meanings. These meanings include man's relationship to God and one another, man's sinful nature and greed, and man's ability to forgive and be forgiven. Dumas will go down in history as the most famous French novelist of his era and perhaps of all time.