Dumas, Alexandre, Père (1802–70) even by 19th-century standards an astonishingly prolific writer. The collected edition of his works comprises 303 volumes. Ironically, it does not include Le Grand Dictionnaire de cuisine, which was his last work and the one on which, to judge by statements which he made in his last years, he expected his reputation to rest most firmly. In fact, he is far better known as the author of such books as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. But he has also retained a reputation as an authority on food and cookery; a reputation which is not entirely deserved, unless one takes the view that his quixotic personality and abundant enthusiasm entitle him to a greater meed of praise than what he actually wrote would warrant.