The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
By Tom Reiss
Crown Trade, 2012. 414 pgs. Biography.
Any time I am asked for my all-time favorite book, I easily answer The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. So, when I learned that parts of Edmond Dantes's story was based on the life and travails of the author's father, I knew that was a biography I had to read. I was not disappointed. In The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo author Tom Reiss describes General Alexander Dumas as a legendary soldier of mixed race that fought for his beloved French Republic and was eventually promoted to leading 50,000 men. The father's adventures and courage proved to inspire his son's most remembered literary scenes such as D'Artagnan's three-duel day and Edmond's unjustifiable prison sentence.
Much like Dumas's work, Reiss includes a great deal of historical detail and context as he presents General Dumas to his readers, but again like Dumas, the depth is rewarding. Any fan or student of the beloved author will want to learn more of his father, an inspiring man whom history has almost forgotten.