Defining the Scope of Alexandre Dumas’s La Drame De La France: Problems, Considerations, and Debates


  • Eric Martone Mercy College


Alexandre Dumas, La Drame de la France, Musketeers, Monte Cristo, feuilleton


Alexandre Dumas’s interment in the Panthéon in 2002 prompted a steady reevaluation of his literary reputation, resulting in his increased prominence among his nineteenth-century peers. Several studies have resurrected Dumas’s 1857 argument that his works comprise a vast series entitled La Drame de la France. This argument has become so ubiquitous that it has become an uncontested fact. However, there are certain challenges in studying Dumas’s La Drame de la France. Dumas did not repeatedly make this assertion, which was announced toward the latter portion of his life, and whether it was something that consciously and continuously drove his plans when developing future ideas and concepts for his historical fiction novels is debatable. Therefore, while not disputing the existence of La Drame de la France, its nature (and the nature of its creation) nevertheless makes it so that which novels specifically comprise it has never been definitively established. Coming to some degree of consensus on this point is needed as a first step to advance studies of Dumas in this area. This article seeks to initiate this literary discussion by presenting Dumas’s 36 major historical fiction novels set in France, briefly examining the problems, considerations, and debates that exist in whether each could be accepted as part of the series.