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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.

NadElle

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