Synopses & Reviews
The Count of Monte Cristo was inspired by an anecdote from the Parisian police archives, a pearl of a story, Dumas called it, 'A rough, shapeless pearl, of no value, waiting for its jeweller'. Edmond Dantè's betrayal, his incarceration in the fortress-prison of If, his search for Abbé Faria's hidden treasure, and his reappearance, now fabulously rich, as the brooding, Byronic and vengeful Count of Monte-Cristo - these are the bare outlines of a book which Thackeray, for one, found impossible to put down. Dumas set his magnificent novel of L'action et l'amour in nineteenth-century metropolitan Paris with interludes in Marseilles and Rome. In it he gave free rein to the sensational - hashish-smoking, vampirism and sex - and to his interest in travel, classical myth, the orient, human psychology and disguises. The Count of Monte Cristo (1844-46) is one of the great popular novels of all time, and a landmark in the development of modern popular fiction.
Edmond Dantes has much to look forward to. He is to be captain of a ship and to marry his beloved Mercedes. But his future is cruelly blighted when enemies provoke his wrongful arrest and he is condemned to lifelong imprisonment. The answer to his problem lies on the Island of Monte Cristo.
About the Author
was born July 24, 1802, at Villiers-Cotterets, France, the son of Napoleon's famous mulatto general, Dumas. Alexandre Dumas began writing at an early age and saw his first success in a play he wrote entitled Henri III et sa Cour
(1829). A prolific author, Dumas was also an adventurer and took part in the Revolution of 1830. Dumas is most famous for his brilliant historical novels, which he wrote with collaborators, mainly Auguste Maquet, and which were serialized in the popular press of the day. His most popular works are The Three Musketeers
(1844), The Count of Monte Cristo
(1844-45), and The Man in Iron Mask
(1848-50). Dumas made and lost several fortunes, and died penniless on on December 5, 1870.
Robin Waterfield is a graduate of Manchester University and studied Greek philosphy at King's College, Cambridge. He is currently writing a major biography of Kahlil Gibran.