|Alexandre Dumas' Château de Monte-Cristo built in 1846|
following the 1844 publication of his novel by the
|Dumas wrote that the woman you love is sacred, holy|
|The notorious Château d'If off Marseille.|
Built by François I and a prison from the 17th to the 19th century
|Inside Dumas' Château de Monte-Cristo--built with proceeds|
from sales of his famous novel by the same name
|Dumas writing one of the world's greatest novels|
|Dantès, The Count of Monte-Cristo, and his beloved Mercédès|
|Dumas studio on his estate|
|The infamous island prison seen from a Marseille hilltop|
|Dantès suicidal after six years in prison|
|Eyes that reveal loss, sadness, betrayal, disbelief, kindness, and|
determination to revenge are deftly conveyed
With the Ides of March upon us...let's raise a glass to French author Alexandre Dumas (24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870) who took the best revenge of all. Massive success. Seemingly not in the stars at his humble start.
At age 4, Dumas was thrown into poverty by his father’s death, but regaled by his mother’s proud boasts of paternal glory in war, and by his own voracious inhaling of books.
Just sixteen years later, the lad who couldn't afford a fine education won a post at the Palais Royal in Paris under Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans. During off work hours, Dumas set pen to page and seven years later the successful production of his first play supported a full-time writing career.
In 1846, he built a lavish country estate...naming it after his classic novel of betrayal and revenge.
The Count of Monte Cristo~
Published in 1844, Dumas' hero is Edmond Dantès. The gallant merchant sailor, who arrives back in Marseille elated to marry his beloved Mercédès. Instead, he’s falsely accused by jealous colleagues as a Bonapartist traitor. (When Bonaparte was elected president in 1851, Dumas fled France to live in exile in Brussels, then Russia, and Italy.)
Without a trial, Dantès is condemned for life to imprisonment in the notorious Château d'If off Marseille (built by François I and used as a prison from the 17th to the 19th century). After six years, suicide is on his mind when he befriends the Priest Faria who is attempting to tunnel out and reveals treasure stashed on Monte Cristo.
When Faria dies Dantès co-opts his burial sack to escape. Back in Marseille he discovers his father starved to death. He collects the treasure on Monte Cristo, and purchases the island, a yacht, and the title of Count.
Now wealthy, Dantès helps those who helped to him. And as Count of Monte Cristo extracts revenge on those who betrayed.
Dumas’ novels like The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte-Cristo, The Man in the Iron Mask have been translated into 100 languages, and adapted into 200 films. An unfinished novel at his death was completed by an expert and published in English in 2008 as The Last Cavalier.
Dumas died penniless in 1870. And in 2002, by decree of President Chirac was interred in the Panthéon alongside Victor Hugo and Emile Zola-- his literary kin. Chirac said: "With you, we were D'Artagnan, Monte Cristo, or Balsamo… With you, we dream."
En route to the Panthéon his coffin remained a night at his Château de Monte-Cristo. Where his guests were the glitterati...Victor Hugo, George Sand, Honoré de Balzac…though Dumas often craved solitude with his menagerie of pets. Opened to the public and set in woods outside of Paris—it is like stepping into one of the author's brilliant schemes. (here)
He wrote~ “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.”