The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo
Louis Français-Dantès sur son rocher.jpg
Author Alexandre Dumas
in collaboration with Auguste Maquet
Original title Le Comte de Monte-Cristo
Country France
Language French
Genre Historical novel
Publication date
1844–1845 (serialised)

The Count of Monte Cristo ( French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas (père) completed in 1844. It is one of the author's most popular works, along with The Three Musketeers. Like many of his novels, it was expanded from plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet. [1] Another important work by Dumas, written prior to his work with Maquet, was the short novel "Georges"; this novel is of particular interest to scholars because Dumas reused many of the ideas and plot devices later in The Count of Monte Cristo. [2]

The story takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815–1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. It begins just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It centres on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about exacting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. His plans have devastating consequences for both the innocent and the guilty.

The book is considered a literary classic today. According to Luc Sante, "The Count of Monte Cristo has become a fixture of Western civilization's literature, as inescapable and immediately identifiable as Mickey Mouse, Noah's flood, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood." [3]

Background to the plot

Dumas wrote [4] that the idea of revenge in The Count of Monte Cristo came from a story in a book compiled by Jacques Peuchet, a French police archivist, published in 1838 after the death of the author. [5] Dumas included this essay in one of the editions from 1846. [6] Peuchet told of a shoemaker, Pierre Picaud, living in Nîmes in 1807, who was engaged to marry a rich woman when three jealous friends falsely accused him of being a spy for England. Picaud was placed under a form of house arrest in the Fenestrelle Fort, where he served as a servant to a rich Italian cleric. When the man died, he left his fortune to Picaud, whom he had begun to treat as a son. Picaud then spent years plotting his revenge on the three men who were responsible for his misfortune. He stabbed the first with a dagger on which were printed the words "Number One", and then he poisoned the second. The third man's son he lured into crime and his daughter into prostitution, finally stabbing the man himself. This third man, named Loupian, had married Picaud's fiancée while Picaud was under arrest.

In another of the "True Stories", Peuchet describes a poisoning in a family. This story, also quoted in the Pleiade edition, has obviously served as model for the chapter of the murders inside the Villefort family. The introduction to the Pleiade edition mentions other sources from real life: Abbé Faria existed and died in 1819 after a life with much resemblance to that of the Faria in the novel. As for Dantès, his fate is quite different from his model in Peuchet's book, since the latter is murdered by the "Caderousse" of the plot. But Dantès has "alter egos" in two other Dumas works; in "Pauline" from 1838, and more significantly in "Georges" from 1843, where a young man with black ancestry is preparing a revenge against white people who had humiliated him.

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Qraf Monte Kristo
Bahasa Indonesia: Pangeran Monte Cristo
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Graf Monte-Kristo
српски / srpski: Grof Monte Kristo
українська: Граф Монте-Крісто
Tiếng Việt: Bá tước Monte Cristo