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

By Tom Reiss

WINNER OF THE 2013 PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY

General Alex Dumas, is a guy virtually unknown this day, yet his tale is strikingly familiarbecause his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as idea for such classics as The count number of Monte Cristo and The 3 Musketeers.
     yet, hidden behind General Dumas's swashbuckling adventures was once a good extra really good secret: he used to be the son of a black slavewho rose larger within the white international than any guy of his race could prior to our personal time. 
     Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas made his technique to Paris, the place he rose to command armies on the peak of the Revolutionuntil he met an implacable enemy he couldn't defeat.
     TIME journal referred to as The Black Count "one of these quintessentially human tales of energy and braveness that sheds mild at the ancient second that made it possible." it's also a heartbreaking tale of the iconic bonds of affection among a father and son.  

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He and Marie-Louise could cross directly to have 3 young ones, of which Alexandre, the author, could be the final and their basically son. In fiction, his father so much at once encouraged Dumas’s novel Georges, the place a tender guy of combined race from a French sugar colony makes his strategy to Paris, turns into a superb swordsman, and returns to the island to avenge a long-ago racial insult (itself a nearly specific retelling of a searing incident from his father’s youth). by way of the top of the unconventional, Georges has married the lady of his goals, confirmed himself improved to the whites in braveness and ability, fought duels, rescued damsels, and led a failed slave rebellion, which sends him to the scaffold, even if he's kept on the final minute via his brother, a mulatto slave-ship captain.

Oh! That doesn’t subject. ” “But he’ll be in mattress. ” “Quite most likely. ” … In sum, [Dermoncourt concluded] my father should have a unique viewers scheduled, and him. My father ascended a stair, walked down a hallway, opened a bit door, driven again a display, and located himself, in addition to Dermoncourt, who have been following him the total time, in Bonaparte’s bed room. He was once in mattress with Josephine, and, because the climate was once highly regarded, either one of them have been coated via not more than a sheet, upon that have been drawn the outlines in their our bodies.

However it used to be additionally strategic: the military of the Alps was once to arrange for an important invasion. For the 1st time in 300 years France may invade the Italian kingdoms, and strike without delay at its leader enemy, Austria. very much used to be at stake for the Republic, because it was once for common Dumas. The publish used to be drastically extra vital than any with which he had formerly been entrusted and might make or holiday his occupation. common Dumas vigorously set approximately whipping his military into form, a role made tough through the truth that his battalions have been stationed on assorted peaks that, looking on snow stipulations, might take in to every week to arrive from his headquarters in Grenoble.

Dumas have been a basic of department whilst Napoleon was once nonetheless a captain, and he had endured to outrank the Corsican till December 1795. however the guy nonetheless often called normal Bonaparte was once confident he used to be destined to upward thrust above his contemporaries to be even more than a normal. To Dumas, the Republic’s generals stood jointly at the comparable airplane and may be pleased with the actual fact. besides liberty, the Revolution’s different commandments have been equality and brotherhood. “The French Revolution stamped a unusual seal upon our army,” Dumas’s son the novelist later wrote: whilst I encounter it I treasure the imprint as one could that of a beneficial medal that may quickly be misplaced to rust, whose worthy one needs to provoke upon one’s contemporaries, its features upon posterity.

136–38). 17 “This form of struggle used to be even harder”: Napoleon, Correspondance, Vol. 24, p. 446. 18 “threw [his] trimmed hat”: Desgenettes, Vol. three, pp. 132–33. 19 “Saint Watermelon”: Louis Reybaud, Histoire de l’expédition française en Égypte, in Xavier-Boniface Saintine, ed. , Histoire scientifique et militaire de l’expédition française en Égypte, Vol. three, p. 183; see additionally Cole, p. sixty one; Denon, p. 70; Napoleon, Correspondance, Vol. four, p. 253. 20 invited a few of his fellow generals: Las situations, p. 221; Reybaud p. a hundred sixty five; Desgenettes, Vol.

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