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(as of 2012-10-06 11:08:16 PST)

History

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (38 votes)

Released: 2012-09-18






The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

Description

this is the exceptional actual story of the actual rely of Monte Cristo – a shocking feat of historic sleufactor that brings to life the forwere giventen hero who inspired such classics as The rely of Monte Cristo and the three Musketeers.

the important-life protagonist of The Black rely, basic Alex Dumas, is a person almost unrecognized these days but with a story that may be strikingly acquainted, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create probably the most perfect beloved heroes of literature.

Yet, hidentificationden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more implausible secret: the actual hero was the son of a black slave -- who rose higher in the white international than any man of his race would before our personal time. 

Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but made his option to Paris the place he was schooled as a sword-preventing member of the French aristocracy. Enlisting as an individual, he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution, in an audacious marketing campaign throughout Europe and the center East – until he met an implacable enemy he may no longer defeat.

The Black rely is concurrently a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern international’s first multi-racial society. but it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love among a father and son.  




From the Hardcover adaptation.
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Editorial overview

Amazon best guides of the Month, September 2012: Generations were enthralled via Alexandre Dumascff0478#39; personalitys, particularly the wronged hero in The rely of Monte Cristo and the bold swordsmales in the three Musketeers. Yet few notice that these memorable personalitys had been inspired via Dumascff0478#39; father, basic Alex Dumas, the son of a French rely and a black Haitian slave. Tom Reiss brings the elder Dumas alive with previously unpublished correspondence and meticulous greater than, providing the context essential to understand how remarkable his life as a mulatto total in a slave-proudly owning empire truly was. From single-handedly keeping a bridentificationge in the Alps against 20 enemies to spending years held captive in a castle, Alex Dumas is an engaging personality that no longer even his soncff0478#39;s vividentification creativeness can have dreamed up. --Malissa Kent

An Essay via creator Tom Reiss

Tom Reiss

Icff0478#39;ve always beloved exploring historical past. Itcff0478#39;s like an uncharted hemisphere, and while you take a look at it intently, it has a tendency to modify each and everyfactor about your personal time. Icff0478#39;m additionally interested in outsidentificationers, people who have swum against the tidentificatione. I frequently feel like a type of detective hired to move to find people who were lost to historical past, and discover why they had been lost. Whodunnit?

on this case, i discovered cast proof that, of all other people, Napoleon didentification it: he buried the memory of this great man – Gen. Alexandre Dumas, the son of a black slave who led greater than five0,000 males at the height of the French Revolution after which stood as much as the megalomaniacal Corsican in the deserts of Egypt. (The "famous" Alexandre Dumas is the finalcff0478#39;s son – the author of the three Musketeers.) Letters and eyewitness acrelys show that Napoleon got here to hate Dumas no longer just for his cussed safety of idea but for his swagger and stature – over six ft tall and good-looking as a matinee identificationol – and for the truth that he was a black man identificationolized via the white French military. (i discovered that Napoleoncff0478#39;s destruction of Dumas coincidentificationed together with his destruction of one of the vital greatest accomplishmalests of the French Revolution – racial equality – a legacy he additionally didentification his perfect to bury.)

I first got here throughout Gen. Dumascff0478#39;s life in the memoir of his son Alexandre, the novelist. And what a life! Alex Dumas, as he most well-liked to be recognized, was born in Saint Domingue, later Haiti, the son of a black slave and a good-for-no longerhing French aristocrat who got here to the islands to make a quick killing and as an alternative slightly survived. in truth, to get back to France to be able to declare an inheritance, he actually "pawned" his black son into slavery, but then he bought him out, introduced him to Paris, and enrolled him in the royal fencing academy, after which the tale begins to get attention-grabbing.

What really stuck with me from reading the memoir was the affection that presentations through from the son, the writer, for his father, the soldier. I may by no means fail to remember the novelist describing the day his father died. His mom met him on the stairs in their area, lugging his fathercff0478#39;s gun over his shoulders, and asked him what he was doing. Little Alexandre replied: "Icff0478#39;m going to heaven to kill God – for killing daddy." when he grew up, he took a greater kind of revenge, infusing his fathercff0478#39;s life and spirit into fictional personalitys like Edmond Dantes and Dcff0478#39;Artagnan, with sun shades of Porthos, too. but the image of the offended child stuck with me and drove me onconflictd to discover each and every scrap of proof I may about his forwere giventen father.

And getting better the lifetime of the actual man behind these tales was the ultimate historic prospecting adventure for me: I realized about Maltese knights and Mameluke conflictriors, the tricks of 18th-century spycraft and glacier conflicta long waye, torchlight duels in the trenches and transportable guillotines on the entrance; I were given to learn about how Commedia del Arte influenced Voodoo and how a Jacobin sultan influenced the famous person-Spangled Banner, about chocolate treatments for poisoning and the still brisk trade in Napoleonic hair clippings. I found out the superb forwere giventen civil rights movement of the 18th century – and its unraveling – regardless that essentially the most amazing factor about this story of a black man in a white international was how little race stood in his way: how Alex Dumascff0478#39;s long run better half's father by no means once questioned his daughter marrying a person of color but most effective asked that he get promoted to sergeant first (later he lovingly mentioned his son-in-legislation merely as "the general").

after all, the memoir set me no longer most effective on a historic adventure but on an adventure in the present day that was straight out of a Dumas novel. I started via vacationing the gray the town in northeast France the place the final died – the place i discovered a useless museum secretary, a locked safe, and a bunch of not going, inspiring personalitys to make my adventure a a long way from lonely one.

guide details

creator: Tom Reisswriter: CrpersonalBinding: Kindle editionLanguage: EnglishPages: 432

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