The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.
Who was the real Count of Monte Cristo? In this extraordinary biography, Tom Reiss traces the almost unbelievable life of the man who inspired not only Monte Cristo, but all three of the Musketeers: the novelist's own father.
Born in St Dominigue in 1762, the son of a French nobleman and a sugar plantation slave, General Alexandre Dumas did not have an auspicious start in life. Things got worse when his father sold him into slavery to pay his passage back to Normandy. But six months later, Dumas' fortunes changed. His father bought him out of slavery and raised him in France, where Dumas went to the nation's finest schools and fencing academies, and having enrolled in the army became known as France's most handsome and strongest soldier. By the time Napoleon invaded Egypt, Dumas was his top cavalry commander.
But Napoleon was threatened by the physical prowess and popularity of this black nobleman. He engineered his disgrace and imprisonment, and to please the sugar growers reintroduced slavery. A brief flowering of freedom and equality was over and forgotten, but Dumas' legacy would live on in the novels of the son who adored him.
Reiss tells this tale with magisterial authority. Long years of research have led him across Europe, the Caribbean and the Middle East in search of forgotten documents. He has journeyed through the Alps where Dumas scaled unscalable ice cliffs. He has walked the streets of Cairo where Dumas' intrepid cavalry charge is still remembered. The result is an enthralling book that entertains, astounds and triumphantly resurrects a lost hero from the world's first multiracial society.
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Review: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte CristoUser Review - Scott Holley - Goodreads
"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence." Arthur Conan Doyle. Alexandre ... Read full review
Review: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte CristoUser Review - RS Fuster - Goodreads
It was interesting to learn about this man. The different perspective of nepotism was also info stove. It difficult to wonder what life would be after any revolution. It makes you think oh four own ... Read full review