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Nineteenth-century writer Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, has been a controversial part of the French patrimony, and faced various forms of racial prejudice in France because of his biracial ancestry and due to being a descendant of a slave. During the late nineteenth century, the rise of scientific racism and aggressive European imperialism resulted in worldviews supporting European superiority and equated “European” with being “white.” Such developments complicated perceptions of Dumas as part of the French patrimony. French intellectuals and politicians from the late nineteenth-century onward created their own imaginative visions of what Dumas had represented in order to employ them ideologically to support or counter prevailing mainstream views of French history and identity. This collection traces the evolution of Dumas’s legacy as a controversial symbol of France since 1870, as the nation has struggled to deal with colonialism and its aftermath, and increased diversity and globalization.

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