Author: Alexandre Dumas

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This novel is part of the “Celebrated Crimes” series and is set in 19th century Russia, specifically in St. Petersburg. It tells the story of Vaninka, the daughter of a general of the Russian imperial army during the reign of Tsar Paul I.

Vaninka is a romantic story that tells how the beautiful young woman becomes involved in the tragic but accidental death of her lover -who was one of her father’s officers-, which leads her to commit other crimes to cover up the tragedy.

In this work Dumas puts into practice his gifts as a novelist, leaving aside his facet as a historian, leaving us a novel that narrates the price that the protagonist must pay for her arrogant will to play with human hearts.


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Alexandre Dumas

This entertaining tale was first published in the eight-volume series Celebrated Crimes. It recounts the fall from grace of the former victor of Jena and Eylau, the time he spent in hiding on the outskirts of a French town, and his subsequent death.

Joachim Murat was a man who distinguished himself from many others. He held many titles in his life: he was marshal of the French army, grand admiral of France, grand duke of Berg and even became king of Naples.

Murat is a story in which Dumas makes use of his skillful writing to tell us about a man so relevant that his name appears on the Parisian Arc de Triomphe next to those of other great marshals of France.

The Borgias

Alexandre Dumas

The series Celebrated Crimes of 1839-1841 compiles in 8 volumes stories and essays about criminals and crimes of great relevance for the history of Europe, among them The Borgias.

In this work Dumas has no qualms in bringing to light the rumors surrounding this family. Although it should be clarified that in it there are events of dubious veracity, so it is up to the reader to discern which facts correspond faithfully to history and which are the product of the novelist’s vision to embellish the story.

The events that give rise to The Borgias begin with Rodrigo de Borja being elected Pope in 1492. This is followed by a decade full of intrigues and assassinations with the sole purpose of gaining power and wealth without any moral scruples to curb such ambitions. We also have Cesare Borgia, who is described as a ruthless killer.

The Cenci

Alexandre Dumas

The Cenci was first published as part of “Celebrated Crimes” and is the second work in the series. It tells the shocking and tragic story of the Cenci family, a powerful and well-known family in 16th century Rome.

First we have the father of the family Francesco Cenci, an aristocrat of violent and immoral behavior, who treated his children with cruelty and hatred, especially his daughters, whom he also exploited sexually.

After many tortuous events, his family decided to have him assassinated and although for a while they thought they could get away with it, their luck was not so fortunate. This was followed by the torture suffered by one of the daughters, Beatrice, at the hands of the authorities in Rome – including the Pope – who took brutal and bloody revenge.

Ali Pacha

Alexandre Dumas

Ali Pacha is another of the works included in the series “Celebrated Crimes” and rightly so. This fictional biography tells the story of Ali Pacha, a despot and leader of the Ottoman Empire known for his cruelty and brutality towards anyone who opposed him.

This tyrant ruled much of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, and his reign was marked by numerous atrocities and excesses that became notorious throughout the region.

Pacha maintained his power by signing alliances with whoever offered him the greatest advantages at the time. He even allied with Napoleon to obtain a seaport on the Albanian coast, and when Napoleon was defeated in Egypt, he switched sides and allied with the British. This work is a must read for Dumas fans and history buffs.


Alexandre Dumas

Nisida is an essay from 1825 that also belongs to the collection “Celebrated Crimes”. It owes its name to the Nisida, a prison in Italy that had the reputation of being a place with unbearable, miserable conditions and where cruelty reigned.

Dumas wrote this work using a melodramatic style and at times making use of comedy, narrating the story of a womanizing man who tries to seduce the daughter of a poor fisherman. This attempt ends with his death at the hands of the woman’s brother, who is subsequently condemned to death and executed.

We could say that Nisida is a semi-fictional story, since Dumas claims that this story is based on a real case. Presumably the writer changed the names and details, since there is no record of the event.