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Alexandre Dumas Collection

An inventory of his collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Dumas, Alexandre, 1802-1870.
Title: Alexandre Dumas Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1850-1886
Quantity: 2 items (SC)
Abstract: Papers of the French author, novelist, and playwright. One piece of outgoing correspondence and an incomplete manuscript of story, "Une Amazone."
Language: French
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) was a French author, novelist, and playwright best known for his historical novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

Alexandre Dumas was born July 24, 1802 in Villers-Cotterrêts, France to Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Labouret and Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie. Dumas's father died in 1806, placing a financial strain on the family. In 1816 financial circumstances required that Dumas seek work, so Dumas began serving as an errand boy for a family friend. In 1819, Dumas met Adolphe Ribbing de Leuven who would become a friend and literary collaborator. On April 10, 1823, Dumas began working as part of the secretarial staff for Louis-Philippe, Duc d'Orléans on account of Dumas's exquisite penmanship.

On July 27, 1824, Dumas's mistress, Marie-Catherine-Laure Labay, gave birth to a son, Alexandre; however, Dumas did not legally recognize the child until 1831. In February 1828, Dumas was transferred to the Duc d'Orléans forestry office, where he was allowed to focus on his own literary work after completing his work for the day. In many ways this was the start of Dumas's successful career as a playwright and novelist.

Dumas married Ida Ferrier on February 5, 1840, though the couple legally separated in October 1844. He died December 5, 1870 at his son's home in Dieppe.

[adapted from the Dictionary of Literary Biography [online] (1998)]

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alexandre Dumas Collection contains one piece of outgoing correspondence as well as a handwritten manuscript by Dumas, "Une Amazone." The manuscript is incomplete and does not include chapter II of the "Herminie" text as printed in Calmann-Lévy. A comparison of the Syracuse manuscript against the Calmann-Lévy text suggests that four pages of the Syracuse manuscript are missing: pp. 2, 3, 5, and 6. The four missing pages can be identified by the following assumed text, supplied by Calmann-Lévy:

  • Page 2 - incipit: Le Bonhomme se leva, posa sur une chaise ses formes...
  • Page 3 - ending: ...sit tu ne te décides pas et qu'il me convienne, je le prendrai.
  • Page 5 - incipit: ...comme s'il eût vu passer devant lui l'ombre de son père et de sa mère,...
  • Page 6 - ending: ...crénelé dans son camail et impossible à reconnaître

Altogether, the Syracuse manuscript contains the following text as printed in Calmann-Lévy: Avant-propos, chapter I, all but the first 19 lines in chapter III, chapters IV-VI, and an epilogue.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Dumas, Alexandre, 1802-1870.


Authors, French.
French literature -- 19th century.
Novelists, French.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Alexandre Dumas Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 1985.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: LDC
Date: 27 Oct 2008
Revision history:

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Outgoing correspondence
SC 242, Folder 1 21 Oct 1886
SC 242, Folder 2 "Une Amazone" [1850s]

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