Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ghost Writers in the Sky

Assistant wrote Dumas classics: expert: "Alexandre Dumas has a special place in France's literary hall of fame as the father of swashbuckling epics.

But a leading academic has cast doubt on how much of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo he penned. A new film will also suggest that they were largely written by an unsung assistant.

The importance of the author's 'negre' -- the French term for ghost writer -- is explained by Claude Schopp, France's leading Dumas expert, in his Dictionary of Alexandre Dumas out next month.

He claims that Auguste Jules Maquet was the real 'fourth musketeer,' the man who came up with the plot for the trilogy featuring Porthos, Athos, Aramis and d'Artagnan."

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