Une amitié littéraire: Chateaubriand et Dumas père (A Literary Friendship and Dumas the Elder)

Abstract: 

It seems surprising that two writers so far apart could have been friends: they were one generation apart; the first was a member of the nobility, supporter of Catholicism and the bourbons, while the other – grandson of a Haitian slave – was not pious, and was a Republican. They differed also by their life-styles and careers. When they met in 1832, the older one was at the peak of his glory, while the younger had become famous for only three years. They met for the first time in Lucerne where they were both in temporary exile for political reasons: Chateaubriand had just been detained for two weeks in Paris, wrongly accused of supporting the Duchesse de Berry in a plot to overthrow King Louis-Philippe d'Orléans in favor of her son Henri, heir of the Bourbons; while Dumas had taken part in a Republican demonstration. Chateaubriand invited Dumas, and confessed that he remained faithful to the Bourbons by mere sense of duty, while not approving of their policy. Dumas, honored to be treated with confidence by his famous elder, was in awe to discover that they shared some political views. In 1840, François-René served as witness at the signing of the marriage contract of Alexandre and Ida Ferrier. When Chateaubriand died in 1848, Dumas devoted seven serial articles to his life and works, and noted that even Napoleon (his former enemy) spoke highly of him when he was exiled in Saint-Helena. (In French) (FB) 

keywords:
Author: 
Bassan, Fernande.
Release Year:
Project MUSE: 
Volume: 
2001 Spring-Summer; 29(3-4): 217-25.