The Count of Monte Cristo Novel By Alexandre Dumas (PDF-Summary-Quotes-Review-Online Reading-Download)

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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 the plot contours suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet. Another important work by Dumas, written before his work with Maquet, was the 1843 short novel Georges; This novel is of particular interest to scholars because Dumas reused many of the plot ideas and devices later in The Count of Monte Cristo.

The story takes place in France, Italy, and the Mediterranean islands 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 mainly related to themes of hope, justice, revenge, mercy, and forgiveness. It focuses on a man who is unjustly imprisoned, escapes from prison, acquires a fortune, and is dedicated to taking revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. His plans have devastating consequences for both the innocent and the guilty.

The book is considered today a literary classic. According to Luc Sante, "The Count of Monte Cristo has become a fixed element of the literature of Western civilization, as inevitable and immediately identifiable as Mickey Mouse, the Flood of Noah, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood."

Book Details
Original title: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo
Genres: Novel, Romance novel, Historical Fiction, Adventure fiction, Serialised Work

Book Summary:
Imprisoned for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined in the gloomy fortress of If. There he learns of a great treasure hidden on Montecristo Island and decides not only to escape but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plan the destruction of the three men responsible for his imprisonment. Inspired by a real case of unjust imprisonment, Dumas' epic tale of suffering and retribution was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s.
Robin Buss's lively English translation is complete and comprehensive and remains true to the style of the original Dumas. This edition includes an introduction, explanatory notes, and suggestions for further reading.

The Count of Monte Cristo Quotes:

  • I am not proud, but I am happy; and happiness blinds, I think, more than pride.
  • All human wisdom is contained in these two words - Wait and Hope
  • The woman is sacred; the woman one loves is holy.
  • It's necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.
  • Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you
  • Moral wounds have this peculiarity - they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.
  • How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure.
  • The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.
  • When you compare the sorrows of real-life to the pleasures of the imaginary one, you will never want to live again, only to dream forever.
  • All human wisdom is contained in these two words--"Wait and Hope.
  • For all evils, there are two remedies - time and silence.
  • Learning does not make one learned: there are those who have the knowledge and those who have understanding. The first requires memory and the second philosophy.
  • There are two ways of seeing: with the body and with the soul. The body's sight can sometimes forget, but the soul remembers forever.
  • I have always had more dread of a pen, a bottle of ink, and a sheet of paper than of a sword or pistol.
  • We are always in a hurry to be happy...; for when we have suffered a long time, we have great difficulty in believing in good fortune.
  • Ah, lips that say one thing, while the heart thinks another,
  • Those born to wealth, and who have the means of gratifying every wish, know not what is the real happiness of life, just as those who have been tossed on the stormy waters of the ocean on a few frail planks can alone realize the blessings of fair weather.
  • Fool that I am," said he, "that I did not tear out my heart the day I resolved to revenge myself".
  • I don’t think the man was meant to attain happiness so easily. Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.
  • Until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words,-Wait and hope.
  • Often we pass beside happiness without seeing it, without looking at it, or even if we have seen and looked at it, without recognizing it.
  • ...The friends we have lost do not repose under the ground...they are buried deep in our hearts. It has been thus ordained that they may always accompany us...
  • To learn is not to know; there are the learners and the learned. Memory makes the one, philosophy the others.
  • There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.....the sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words: Wait and Hope.
  • It is the way of weakened minds to see everything through a black cloud. The soul forms its own horizons; your soul is darkened, and consequently, the sky of the future appears stormy and unpromising
  • What would you not have accomplished if you had been free?
  • "Possibly nothing at all; the overflow of my brain would probably, in a state of freedom, have evaporated in a thousand follies; misfortune is needed to bring to light the treasures of the human intellect. Compression is needed to explode gunpowder. Captivity has brought my mental faculties to a focus; and you are well aware that from the collision of clouds electricity is produced — from electricity, lightning, from lightning, illumination.”
  • What I’ve loved most after you, is myself: that is, my dignity and that strength which made me superior to other men. That Strength was my life. You’ve broken it with a word, so I must die.
  • Hatred is blind; rage carries you away, and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of tasting a bitter draught.
  • ...remember that what has once been done may be done again.
  • So much the worse for those who fear wine, for it is because they have some bad thoughts which they are afraid the liquor will extract from their hearts.

Book Review:
Facing the turbulent years of the Napoleonic era, Alexandre Dumas' thrilling adventure story is one of the most widely read romance novels of all time. In it, the handsome young hero, Edmond Dantès, is betrayed by his enemies and thrown into a secret dungeon at the Chateau d'If, sentenced to spend his life in a damp prison cell. The story of his long and intolerable years in captivity, his miraculous escape, and his carefully crafted revenge creates a dramatic story of mystery and intrigue and paints a vision of France, a ravishing, mourning, and exuberant France that has become immortal.
"Dumas was ... an art summit. No one ever could, or improved, or will improve Dumas' romances and plays.

Book Club Questions

About The Author Alexandre Dumas:
Alexandre Dumas born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie was a French writer, best known for his many high-adventure historical novels that have made him one of the most widely read. French authors in the world. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, and The Viscount of Bragelonne were serialized. Dumas also wrote plays and magazine articles and was a prolific correspondent.

Dumas was of Haitian descent and of mixed race. Her father, General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was born in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) to Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, a French nobleman, and Marie-Cassette Dumas, a black slave. At age 14, Thomas-Alexandre was taken by his father to France, where he was educated at a military academy and entered the military for what became an illustrious career.

The aristocratic rank of Dumas' father helped young Alexandre Dumas acquire a job with Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, and later as a writer, finding early success. He became one of the main authors of the French romantic movement, in Paris.