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Alexandre Dumas 'had help from ghost writer'

10th February 2010

French literary heavyweight Alexandre Dumas was helped by a ghost writer, according to new claims.

Claude Schopp, one of the leading experts on Dumas, suggested that the plots used by The Three Musketeers author were created by novelist and playwright Auguste Jules Maquet, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Schopp alleged that Maquet attempted to publish his works under his own name, but was rejected because he was not famous enough.

However, after Dumas reworked one of Maquet's plays and had it published, a literary partnership was formed which saw the unknown writer develop plots and historical backdrops for Dumas to expand on, Schopp claimed.

The expert also said that Dumas paid the writer for his work on novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Vicomte of Bragelonne and even publicaly acknowledged him as co-author of an unpublished novel.

However, historian Alain Decaux downplayed the ghost writer's work, telling the newspaper: 'Just like the Renaissance painters, someone had to prepare your frescoes - and it is right that Auguste Maquet be named - but in the end, the quill is yours.'

In 2002, Dumas' remains were interred at the Pantheon in Paris, joining great French writers such as Victor Hugo and Emile Zola.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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