French novelist and dramatist Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), born on this day in Paris, was the grandson of a Haitian slave.
"Great is truth" he said, "Fire cannot burn it nor water drown it."
Self-educated, he was said to have been inspired by the Caribbean escapades of his father, a mulatto general in Napoleon's army who died when Dumas was four years old.
Dumas is best known for writing The Three Musketeers (1844), the adventures of four heroes living during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. His swashbuckling work helped create the historical novel genre.
"The chains of wedlock are so heavy it takes two people to carry them, sometimes three," he wrote.
Influenced by the plays of William Shakespeare and fiction of Sir Walter Scott, Dumas' novels were romantic and passionate.
"You should not attempt to outwit a woman," he wrote.
His popular stories blended fiction and fact and dealt with universal themes: The ideals of youth... Thirst for glory... Excitement of worlds to conquer... Urgency of heroic causes to defend... Willingness to risk it all for friendship or love.
"Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons. We must fight in order to conquer it," said the fast-writing, fast-living author of 250 books.
"All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope."
All for one, one for all.