Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Alexandre Dumas - the writing day.
Alexandre Dumas 'Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.'
If you read blogs about romance novels it seems obligatory to learn about the author's writing day. Mine is far to boring (write where I can when I can - simple as that) and whilst researching I came across a note about famouns writer, Alexandre Dumas's writing day that struck me as far more interesting.
Most people at some time have encountered Alexandre's work whether they know it or not. A man ahead of his time, a born story teller he wrote such classics as 'The Three Muskateers,' 'The Count of Monte Cristo', 'The Man in the Iron Mask' and 'The Lady of the Camellias' - to name but a few.
The illegitimate son of a dressmaker and a play write, Dumas' writing career grew from a shabby flat in Paris, at Number 22, Rue de Rivoli. Sparsely furnished wiht a white wooden table, two ricketty chairs and a rusty iron bedstead, he wrote with a vengance. His personal quota was to achieve 20 polished pages a day, quite some achievement by any standards. Such was his single mindedness that in 1842, arguably his most productive year, he finished 'The Count of Monte Cristo' mid afternoon, but having only written 15 pages that day, instead of celebrating he stayed at his desk to pen the opening 5 pages of 'The Three Muskateers.'
In time his single mindedness was rewarded because he was also ahead of his time in marketting his work. He adapted his work to the stage, as 'Muskateers of the Queen', opened his own theatre and established a magazine 'Le Mousequetaire.' Doubtless Alexandre would havebeen thrilled to know his works are still alive and well today, reborn in the cinematic world.
Dumas' most widely known work, 'The Three Muskateers,' was inspired by the true story of the Queen's diamonds. In this 'truth is stranger than fact' tale, in 17th century France, Anne of Austria married to the King Louis XIII, a practising homosexual, is given a fabulous diamond necklace. Starved of marital affection Anne falls in love with the handsome Duke of Buckingham and foolishly gives him the necklace. Louis then insists Anne wears the diamond necklace to a grand ball and unless she can produce it will be dishonoured and publicly humiliated. A new recruit to the Muskateers, Treville, eager to prove himself volunteers to retrieve the diamonds taking reckless risks to do so. However Buckingham's mistress, Lucy Percy (a direct descendant of Mary Boleyn and King Henry VIII) is jealous and steals two of the largest diamonds and sends them to Anne's deadliest enemy....Cardinal Richelieu...makes you want to read the book all over again!