Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*Paris. Typical of romans feuilletons—books published in installments—this novel is full of references to the streets of Paris, which is explicitly characterized here as the sensitive heart of the organism that is France. The story opens with the chiming of the bells of the Cathedral of Notre Dame as heard from the rue Saint-Honoré, and Maurice’s first crosstown journey is minutely detailed. The story strays no farther from the capital than the suburb of Auteuil. Apart from those detailed below, the most significant settings in the plot are 24, rue de Nonandières, where the pretended flower girl Héloïse Tison lives, and Noah’s Well Tavern at the corner of the rue de la Vieille Draperie, where one of Dixmer’s plots is carefully nurtured.


*Temple. Fortified dwelling established in Paris by the Knights Templar in 1128 and converted into a prison by the eighteenth century. (The prison was subsequently destroyed in 1810, after which its site was occupied by the Marché du Temple, one of the city’s major commercial centers.) In Dumas’s novel, the wall of the prison fringing the rue Portefoin supports a wooden construction that functions as an alehouse for its guardsmen. Dixmer purchases a house in the rue de la Corderie (on the site where number 20 now stands) in order that his accomplices might dig a tunnel under the gardens to reach the alehouse, through which Marie Antoinette and her family might escape; it is the discovery of this...

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(Great Characters in Literature)

Dumas, Alexandre. The Road to Monte Cristo: A Condensation from “The Memoirs of Alexandre Dumas.” Translated by Jules Eckert Goodman. New York: Scribner, 1956. Excellent, abridged translation of Dumas’ memoirs that relate to his source material for his novels, including The Chevalier de Maison-Rouge.

Gorman, Herbert. The Incredible Marquis, Alexandre Dumas. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1929. Entertaining, popular biography of Dumas, père that chronicles the social circles in which he moved. Sheds light on biographical details of his life that enhance the readings of his novels.

Maurois, André. The Titans, a Three-Generation Biography of the Dumas. Translated by Gerard Hopkins. New York: Harper, 1957. Considered the authoritative biography of Dumas père, his father, and his son. Excellent bibliography. Approaches The Chevalier de Maison Rouge in a cursory fashion.

Schopp, Claude. Alexandre Dumas: Genius of Life. Translated by A. J. Koch. New York: Franklin Watts, 1988. A biographical and critical approach to the life and works of Dumas, père. Discusses Dumas’ adaptation of The Chevalier de Maison-Rouge into a drama called Les Girondins to pay his bills.

Stowe, Richard S. Alexandre Dumas (père). Boston: Twayne, 1976. An excellent starting point for an analysis of the life and works of Dumas, père, probably the best source in English. The Chevalier de Maison Rouge is analyzed in the chapter entitled “The Marie-Antoinette Romances,” of which the novel is the fifth and final installment.