The Controversial Ghost Writer Behind Alexandre Dumas's Greatest Hits

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Who has not heard of Alexandre Dumas? This most celebrated French author is famous for his adventure novels such as ' The Count of Monte Cristo' and 'The Three Musketeers'. Born in 1802 on July 24, he moved to the French capital at the age of 21 to devote all his time to writing literature. His name is still well known to the masses today but he has a (poorly guarded but rarely mentioned) secret: he had a co-author by name Auguste Maquet, who is believed to have contributed to most of Alexandre Dumas's  most prized works.

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Who was Auguste Maquet?

Auguste Maquet was a native of Paris, born in 1813. He was classically trained as a historian but took to writing and floundered in attempts to be published before meeting Alexandre Dumas in 1838. The two partnered together and wrote historical romances, with Maquet outlining the characters and conducting historical research. Despite an apparently equal partnership in their work, you would be astonished to know that at the publisher's insistence, Maquet's name was taken off of each novel before press.

Works Of Auguste Maquet

The French author has written numerous novels and plays, 18 novels with Dumas to be precise. Some of the most notable are:

  • The Three Musketeers
  • The Count Of Monte Cristo
  • Queen Margot
  • Twenty Years After
  • The Queen's Necklace
  • The Black Tulip
  • Bathilde
  • Deux Trahisons
  • La Rose blanche
  • Le Château de Grantier

and many more....

Controversy Surrounding Auguste Maquet

So who was the real genius behind the works we love so much? The most gifted French author, Auguste Maquet was overshadowed by Alexandre Dumas, claim some scholars. Even after co-writing masterpieces, it is saddening that this author is forgotten; rarely you hear him being discussed outside of academic circles. He spent all his life writing blockbuster plays and novels, but was not in the limelight though he deserved to be. It is over 150 years now, but the genius is just a footnote in the history of literature. He is said to be the brain, especially behind 'The Three Musketeers' and ' The Count Of Monte Cristo'.

 

Fans Differ On their Views

Fans of Dumas and Maquet clash over the duo's contributions. While Dumas's fans argue that Maquet provided only the basics for the creation of masterpieces, Maquet's supporters say that without the creativity and framework of Auguste Maquet, Dumas would not have succeeded.

It is believed that the duo first collaborated in the 1840's, when Maquet gave a manuscript to Dumas to be published under Alexandre Dumas's name. This was their first edition. During the next 10 years the duo came up with many genius works that the literary field is proud of. However the mystery was always there- what was the extent of the involvement of Auguste Maquet?

In 1858, Maquet became frustrated as he could not gain as much recognition as Dumas. So he took Dumas to court in an effort to acquire joint rights to their works. Maquet was awarded monetary damages, but Dumas was successful in retaining ownership of all their works. Even though Dumas admitted that he was helped by Maquet, he insisted that he was the actual creator.

Devotees of Dumas argue that Maquet could only write for hours and put in hard work, but it was Dumas who made success possible.

Many scholars are of the opinion that Maquet's efforts were as significant as Dumas's and in fact, the duo required each other. When Maquet split from Dumas, neither of them could come up with something that was extraordinary. Dumas wrote very less after they split, but Maquet continued writing and once he had sufficient money, bought a marvelous chateau in the countryside. He is also known to have a copy of the famous work 'The Three Musketeers' re-titled 'By A Dumas and A Maquet'.

It's been over a century, but this man deserves to be remembered and appreciated. His efforts were under covers, however he was a genius for sure!!

 

Rare Copies of "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas