The Black Count

The Black Count

Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

eBook - 2012
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Explores the life and career of Thomas Alexandre Dumas, a man almost unknown today, but whose swashbuckling exploits appear in The three musketeers and whose trials and triumphs inspired The count of Monte Cristo.
Publisher: New York : Crown Pub., c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307952950
Characteristics: 1 online resource (414 p.) : map.


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Nov 02, 2019

The Black Count is a biography of Alexandre Dumas. No, not the novelist: his father. Born the mixed race son of a disgraced minor noble and his slave mistress, Alex Sr. grew up in a fugitive family in the backwoods of the island that would become Haiti. His father eventually returned to France, which voyage was funded by selling Alex’s mother and his siblings back into slavery, but favorite son Alex remained free and came with the old count as he schemed to reclaim the family fortune. Alex Sr. thus arrived in France at a transitional period in which blacks could be owned as slaves, but there were no legal limitations upon free blacks. When the family fortune proved to be largely a scam, Alex Sr. joined the army, where he proved to be such a fierce fighter and able leader of men that he was rapidly promoted to general in command of one of the French armies which were fighting to spread the revolution to the rest of Europe (whether the rest of Europe wanted it or not). The elder Dumas had quite a stellar military career, and has only been overshadowed because of the even greater success of his fellow general and personal rival, Napoleon. And that’s only the part of this book that takes place before the strange events of Alex Sr.’s later life, upon which misadventures Alex Jr. would go on to write some of the world’s most beloved and enduring adventure novels

IndyPL_SteveB Jan 15, 2019

A tremendously fascinating biography of Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, the first black general of a major European country. Just about everyone has read or at least seen a film of *The Three Musketeers* or *The Count of Monte Cristo* by Alexandre Dumas. But not many people realize that both D’Artagnan in *The Three Musketeers* and Edmond Dantes in *The Count of Monte Cristo* were partly based on the exploits of his military-hero father,

The elder Dumas, known as “Alex Dumas,” was born in Haiti to a black slave mother and a white French nobleman. After his father returned to France, he sent for his son, who was trained in the best military academy in Paris. He was renowned for his size (6’1”), immense strength, superb swordsmanship, leadership, and understanding of military strategy. In the early days of the Revolution (before the leaders started guillotining the nobles, their enemies, and eventually each other), the French government became the first government in the world to ban slavery and to fully integrate its government and armed forces. As a soldier, Dumas achieved legendary status for his daring horse raids and clever attacks, winning several skirmishes against the Austrian army.

But things began to go sour when Napoleon Bonaparte got promoted to be his commander. After Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Egypt, Dumas’s ship was damaged and forced to land in the Kingdom of Naples. He was held in prison for three years and was finally released to return home, a physically and emotionally broken man. I am sure this book will be a revelation to anyone interested in French history.

Aug 27, 2018

A fascinating account of a great French hero of the Revolution. The story also reveals how the idealism of men and women like Dumas is betrayed by others, such as Napoleon, who are motivated by insatiable greed for power. This is a well-researched and skilfully written book.

Mar 19, 2018

This is an amazing book. The history of Black excellence in this world is constantly being withheld and hidden. More people need to read this book and more people need to learn of the amazing Dumas family.

Jun 06, 2017

A wonderful book; I truly enjoyed it ! Every fan of Alexandre Dumas should read and understand the background of his stories: the unusual upbringing, the exceptional person his father was. I thought my knowledge about the French Revolution was quite good,- and yet I found so many new details and information that was completely new to me, and about the Racist part that I was completely unaware of (thinking that slavery was abolished).
The book is such an easy read, with a wonderful sense of humor, that you don't even notice that you absorb a lot of history (and important one) in the process.
A pity that there is no true memorial to the brave and fascinating General Dumas.I am glad that this book, restores some of it.

Oct 26, 2016

Terrific book, great history, and a story that needed to be told. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Jan 04, 2016

The breathlessly romantic true story of the founder of the Dumas family. Alex Dumas seems to have had the same fondness for a good yarn as his son and grandson. But the facts are wonderful enough: born the son of a slave and a disgraced french aristocrat on an outlaw tobacco plantation in Haiti; sold into temporary slavery by his own father; education at a prestigious Parisian school; years of urbane indulgence; renunciation of his aristocratic heritage and enlistment in the army at the lowest rank, just in time for the French Revolution; a steady rise to the rank of general; encounters with Napoleon; shipwreck (literal) and imprisonment; discrimination and downfall. Among this book's many pleasures is a refreshing view of French culture, civil rights, colonialism and slavery -- so many books available in North America dwell on the U.S. experience. Highly recommended; it will leave you wanting to know more.

Quimeras Oct 12, 2015

“The Black Count” captures a fascinating period in France’s history and the equally fascinating life of General Alex Dumas. I was thoroughly engaged in this book. Note: do not skip the footnotes. They offer some interesting tidbits.

Apr 25, 2015

If you enjoy history you will love this book.

Jun 24, 2013

Wonderful read
Words, pages, thoughts flowed past
Filled in aspects of French history, social history and art that somehow I had missed, forgotten or never really understood.
Great story at the same time

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