Alexandre Dumas was born in 1802 at Villers-Cotterets in France. He received very little education but when he entered the household of the future king, Louis-Philippe, he began to read voraciously and then to write. He is best remembered for his historical novels, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. Dumas died in 1870.
Robin Buss was a writer and translator who worked for the Independent on Sunday and as television critic for The Times Educational Supplement. He published critical studies of works by Vigny and Cocteau, and three books on European cinema, The French Through Their Films (1988), Italian Films (1989) and French Film Noir (1994). He also translated a number of volumes for Penguin Classics. He died in 2006.