21 May 2021

Fascinating fact in History of Mauritius: Alexandre Dumas


Alexandre Dumas, great French novelist, author, among others, of the Three Musketeers and of the Count of Monte Cristo, had Creole origins being the son of a Haitian and a Frenchwoman. While Dumas had never set foot on the then called, Ile de France ... his novel Georges takes place almost entirely in Mauritius during the first part of the 19th century. He describes the popular areas of Port-Louis, very detailed landscapes of Black River and the celebration of the yamsé (or goon) in the streets of Port-Louis. Dumas also mentions a cyclone hitting Mauritius which he calls "hurricane". He even quotes young girls from well-known families, such as “Miss Cypris de Gersigny, then one of the most beautiful young girls on the island. He will also make a perfect description of a day at the races, the Maiden Cup at the Champ de Mars… which, of course, he never experienced.


Regarding his novel Georges, Dumas was helped by a colleague, Félicien Mallefille, another French novelist born at Ile de France in 1813 and who himself knew quite well the island. A street of Port-Louis, skirting the Jardin de la Compagnie even bears his name.



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