Alexandre Dumas was born in 1802. After a childhood of extreme poverty, he took work as a clerk, and met the renowned actor Talma, and began to write short pieces for the theatre. After twenty years of success as a playwright, Dumas turned his hand to novel-writing, and penned such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo (1844), La Reine Margot (1845) and The Black Tulip (1850). After enduring a short period of bankruptcy, Dumas began to travel extensively, still keeping up a prodigious output of journalism, short fiction and novels. He fathered an illegitimate child, also called Alexandre, who would grow up to write La Dame aux Camélias. He died in Dieppe in 1870.