[Reading] ➱ The Black Count ➹ Tom Reiss – Thomashillier.co.uk


The Black Count Here Is The Remarkable True Story Of The Real Count Of Monte Cristo A Stunning Feat Of Historical Sleuthing That Brings To Life The Forgotten Hero Who Inspired Such Classics As The Count Of Monte Cristo And The Three Musketeers The Real Life Protagonist Of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, Is A Man Almost Unknown Today Yet With A Story That Is Strikingly Familiar, Because His Son, The Novelist Alexandre Dumas, Used It To Create Some Of The Best Loved Heroes Of LiteratureYet, Hidden Behind These Swashbuckling Adventures Was An Even Incredible Secret The Real Hero Was The Son Of A Black Slave Who Rose Higher In The White World Than Any Man Of His Race Would Before Our Own Time Born In Saint Domingue Now Haiti , Alex Dumas Was Briefly Sold Into Bondage But Made His Way To Paris Where He Was Schooled As A Sword Fighting Member Of The French Aristocracy Enlisting As A Private, He Rose To Command Armies At The Height Of The Revolution In An Audacious Campaign Across Europe And The Middle East Until He Met An Implacable Enemy He Could Not DefeatThe Black Count Is Simultaneously A Riveting Adventure Story, A Lushly Textured Evocation Of Th Century France, And A Window Into The Modern World S First Multi Racial Society But It Is Also A Heartbreaking Story Of The Enduring Bonds Of Love Between A Father And Son

  • Hardcover
  • 414 pages
  • The Black Count
  • Tom Reiss
  • English
  • 06 April 2017
  • 030738246X

About the Author: Tom Reiss

TOM REISS is the author of the celebrated international bestseller The Orientalist His biographical pieces have appeared The New Yorker, The New York Times and other publications He lives with his wife and daughters in New York City.



10 thoughts on “The Black Count

  1. says:

    I m sure a lot of people are going to think the same thing reading this biography How in the world did I not know about this man Everyone knows Alexandre Dumas, p re or at least knows his The Three Musketeers. I haven t read his books, but I ve watched several adaptations and homages to them, everything from toons to allusions on Star Trek. I knew that this 19th century author was both French and black yet nevertheless celebrated even in his lifetime I knew of his son, who wrote the play I m sure a lot of people are going to think the same thing reading this biography How in the world did I not know about this man Everyone knows Alexandre Dumas, p re or at least knows his The Three Musketeers. I haven t read his books, but I ve watched several adaptations and homages to them, everything from toons to allusions on Star Trek. I knew that this 19th century author was both French and black yet nevertheless celebrated even in his lifetime I knew of his son, who wrote the play that was the basis for Camille and Verdi s La Traviata. But I didn t know about his father Alex Dumas General Alex Dumas Son of a marquis and a slave, born in Haiti, who his own father pawned into slavery, then redeemed and brought to Paris He enlisted as a common soldier and when the French Revolution briefly swept away race as a bar, he rose to the rank of what would be considered today a four star general commanding at one point over 50,000 troops and was a genuine hero.That s not all to his story either So many of the events in this biography sound like out and out adventure fiction Yet Reiss obviously researched this meticulously he doesn t just go by his son s memoir, but sought out confirmations and contradictions and complications in the story There are plenty of quotes from letters of General Dumas that bring his personality to life The book also deals with the backdrop of his life the sugar plantations of Haiti and the creole culture, Paris of the ancien regime and the French Revolution and rise of Napoleon.I d been reading biographies and other books dealing with the American Revolution lately, and it struck me in those books how deeply the American and French revolutions were intertwined, so it was interesting seeing it from the other side The French helped us win our revolution, and it bankrupted them helping touch off their own The Marquis de Lafayette fought in both Thomas Jefferson, who wrote our Declaration of Independence, helped draft their Declaration of the Rights of Man. Whenever I d read of the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the dysfunction of its government and its totalitarian aspects were what was emphasized Reiss highlights by the nature of this biography what was hopeful and inspiring in it Reiss claims the revolutionary government was the first in history to abolish slavery I d dispute that I ve read of examples in antiquity notably Cyrus of Persia and Ashoka of India banned slavery in their dominions Blacks not only rose high in the military of revolutionary France, they were part of the legislature and in that period made strides socially and politically until Napoleon The glimpses we get of him here are not pretty Reiss refers to Napoleon s maddeningly contradictory legacy as both dictator and liberator his reign marked the resumption of racial discrimination and even slavery what then was done to Dumas native Haiti was a tragedy.So both as the biography of a neglected historical figure and a window into his times this succeeds wonderfully A great read

  2. says:

    f ck Napoleon.

  3. says:

    Nothing can live up to the exciting, over the top adventures Alexandre Dumas concocted, except maybe the real life exploits of his father The subtitle The Real Count of Monte Cristo is speaking of the writer s father Thomas Alexandre Dumas, a mixed race soldier from the former French colonies in the Americas He was the basis for the tragic, wronged, swashbuckling heroes of The Count of Monte Cristo, the Three Musketeers tales, and .Tom Reiss biography tries to bring back the memory of a Nothing can live up to the exciting, over the top adventures Alexandre Dumas concocted, except maybe the real life exploits of his father The subtitle The Real Count of Monte Cristo is speaking of the writer s father Thomas Alexandre Dumas, a mixed race soldier from the former French colonies in the Americas He was the basis for the tragic, wronged, swashbuckling heroes of The Count of Monte Cristo, the Three Musketeers tales, and .Tom Reiss biography tries to bring back the memory of an unfortunately forgotten hero of the French Revolutionary Republic General Dumas rose up from a common soldier to lead thousands during France s Revolutionary Wars Reiss portrays a man passionate about the cause and willing to risk his life in the most daring of ways for the ideal of equality for all The Black Count marches linearly ahead at an admirable pace, mixing the history of father and son and even grandfather as it applies to his future generations , tantalizing and revealing at just the right moments A high quality history text that, regardless of dwelling rightly upon human atrocities, can t help but entertain considering its adventuresome subject matter Reiss certainly seems biased towards his subject and even tries to put General Dumas on a pedestalliterally by the end there is discussion and lament over a statue of him However, if you can forgive him his slant, I think you ll find this a highly enjoyable read

  4. says:

    This is a really tough project to have been blessed with, I think.On one hand, for the second time , Reiss has been lucky enough to stumble into a fascinating subject for a biography Thomas Alexandre Davy de la Palleterie s aka Alex Dumas life is enthralling in its own right, even told in a straightforward encyclopedic way The son of a ne er do well French aristocrat and one of his black slave mistresses whom he seems to have taken up with while in hiding from his family and his creditor This is a really tough project to have been blessed with, I think.On one hand, for the second time , Reiss has been lucky enough to stumble into a fascinating subject for a biography Thomas Alexandre Davy de la Palleterie s aka Alex Dumas life is enthralling in its own right, even told in a straightforward encyclopedic way The son of a ne er do well French aristocrat and one of his black slave mistresses whom he seems to have taken up with while in hiding from his family and his creditors both , Thomas Alexandre was briefly sold into slavery by his own father Quickly redeemed, he was taken from the island life he knew and taught to lead the dissolute life of a noble Parisian dandy by his reprobate father for years afterwards, until a rift between them lead him to enlist in the army From there, like many of the major figures of late eighteenth century France who survived anywhere past the Terror of 1794, his life is a series of attempts to stay in favor and alive through the various changing regimes While this was difficult enough for anyone with noble blood and any political or military involvement whatsoever, Alex Dumas attempts were complicated by being a person of color and having the dubious fortune of coming far too frequently into contact with a Napoleon the rise It s got inherent drama, tension and all the sorts of anticipatory questions you want in the heads of people who are probably somewhat familiar with this eraWhat s going to happen next How s he going to get past x thing or y person When will he run up against blah How is this thing going to square with that thing I know is comingSo far, so good.Further, as with any biography worth its salt, Reiss takes a wide angle view on his subject s life that fills us in on what s going on around him rather than the simple events of his own life Given Alex Dumas unique experience, there are a lot of details about French life at the time that are treated extensively when they might be tangential or footnoted at best anywhere else For example, I had no idea how much France s colonies were worth at that time particularly the sugar plantations of Saint Domingue, which could produce such wealth that they could be almost literally king making It was also fascinating to learn about the rather, by the standards of the time, liberated lives of the mulatto and free black population of the island and especially their larger effect on the cultural life of the colonies Jeremie, one of the growing towns of the island had agrowing role as a mixed race cultural mecca While distancing themselves as much as possible from enslaved blacks and poor whites, free people of color learned to dance, ride and fence like the white colonists, whom they often surpassed in sophistication and snobbishness Fashion wars broke out between white and black hostesses to see who could throw the most impressive balls The femmes de coleur nearly always won, Moreau reported Largely as a result of this kind of aspirational mixed race society, Saint Domingue and the other French colonies became cultural capitals of the New World, excelling in the performing arts Saint Domingue was home to the world s first black superstars, the mulatto opera singers Minette and Lise I also don t remember the last history of 18th century France that I read that so much as mentioned the changing racial policy of the revolutionaries, never mind monitored it in such detail The racial policies and the opportunities available for people of color at each stage of the revolution was an interesting and revealing reflection of the constantly shifting liberal, conservative and terrified in between place that categorized a lot of the policy during this time It helped to clarify some important things for me For instance, there is a pretty much never ending debate in France over when the Revolution technically ended the Terror, the Directory, the coup d etat of Napoleon or his coronation, the Congress of Vienna, 1848, Louis Napoleon not yet , a debate on which I ve never been able to come to a firm opnion But Reiss discussion of Napoleon s conservative, repressive and even eerily 20th century type racial policy helped to pull me personally in the direction of those who choose the coup d etat as the turning point As Napoleon consolidated his power, he slammed shut the doors of opportunity that had opened to so many men and women during the Revolution, but it fell the hardest on any person of color in the army, especially and unfairly, on those who, like Alex Dumas, had wildly succeeded All senior officers were put out of the army or simply not given anycommands The only work on offer was in Black Pioneer regiments that did dirty, exhausting advance work for the army some officers, previously proud heads of regiments and armies, were reduced to begging for work in these regiments Interracial marriages like Alex Dumas , who married the daughter of a prosperous French innkeeper were outlawed and he barely escaped, unlike many others, being actually deported from the country due solely to the color of his skin While the revolutionaries had not found a way to justify the continuance of slavery, given that their power was propped up, supposedly, by ideals that, if not adhered to, could get your head cut off, Napoleon s power came from quite another source It was not long before he sent a brutal invasion force to reconquer Saint Domingue, barely bothering to cover its purpose with any veneer of revolutionary dogma.All of this was absolutely worth reading about, and as I said, I gained at least one great new insight on the period that I would not have had otherwise Moreover, as another point in his favor, Reiss was lucky enough to find some primary sources to do with the general that had been locked up in a safe in a village in rural France for god knows how long He had the safe broken open, with only hours to photograph and digest as many of the hundreds of letters, dispatches and other documents he found that may or may not have had to do with the general That s a thrilling experience for any historian of whatever kind I completely understand his need to share the results of what he found there.However However When one is blessed by finding a topic such as this, with so many attractive qualities, I think that there can be some unintended consequences that result This topic is SO GOOD that I think that he probably developed infatuation with it to the point that he was willing to gloss over a lot.For a start, Reiss has clearly discovered some valuable primary source documents that illuminate the character of the general However, he also just as clearly does not have enough material to tell the kind of story that he wants to Reiss is a big fan of the same sort of history I love the narrative sort, with story arcs and character development and Thackeray style commentary by arch, all knowing narrators But he just doesn t have enough material to fill in exact dialogue and exchanges, to justify how people are feeling or what their faces look like in any detail So he makes it up There are a really unacceptable amount of recurrences of the phrase, he must have felt x emotion when when he was describing his characters experiences He let his own imaginative projections fill in for the gaps in his research far too often.Partly as a result of this, some of Reiss analysis is ridiculously facile We re going to analyze a meeting between Napoleon and some of his officers, including Dumas, which we have confirmation of, but very little confirmable information on by saying that Napoleon must have acted the way he did partly because he was feeling really intimidated by the tallness of the men he was speaking with Really We re also going to speculate that maybe Dumas jailer in Italy started being nice to him because he was possibly motivated by a kind of southern Italian enjoyment of defying authority of thumbing his nose at his fancy pants boss from here in his drafty provincial fortress I know that Reiss can do better than this because I saw him do it at many other points in the book there are a couple great zingers in his analysis for sure But these are not the only times where this comes up, either This sort of thing happened when Reiss REALLY wanted to know what happened in a room, especially a room with a person of any importance that Dumas ran into It s a sign of his excitement of about his subject, which is nice But it s also excitement carried too far.Thirdly, and this is a challenge of anyone working in the Revolutionary era, Reiss sometimes had difficulty balancing the amount of the story devoted to the life and times of Alex Dumas with the story of Dumas himself Part of the problem is that so many things that happened to people in this era are perfectly bewildering if you don t understand the minute politics of which minister was currently on the rise and which other had just had his head chopped off, which means that one can devote a dozen pages to a background explanation and one to the actual event in a person s life This can make it hard to keep track of the thread of the subject s life It s also really hard to not get sidetracked and start telling the story of the Revolution rather than your subject There are a couple people for whom the story is nearly one and the same Talleyrand is a great example of this, which is another reason why that Cooper biography was so great , but for most people, they re going to fall on and off the map and you ve got to fill in enough to get is from Point A to Point B without wandering too far And honestly, sometimes I think he didn t tell us enough, either For someone who knows a bit about the era, sometimes he rushed through a basic recounting of events and left out pretty important details about the way things happened in order to get back to the general s story The problem with a generalist history like this is that I m bothered by the thought that people who are picking this up and don t have familiarity with the Revolution will think that that s actually how it happened And, given some of the very basic relation imparted about events, I m pretty clear that this is a book written to cater to those with very little expertise.Finally, speaking of overshadowing, for all that Reiss is attempting to bring out the importance of the father, let s all agree that it was probably REALLY hard for him not to overuse the son Alexandre Dumas writing the one generally referred to as pere, but in this case fils is charismatic enough that it seems like Reiss was sometimes really tempted to be drawn into his web of father hero worship Sometimes he stated his independence of it and his recognition of Dumas , but he used his memoirs a lot anyway, however biased they were Why Because they re good goddamn stories, that s why It took away another smidge of credibility to see how often Reiss would be like, you know what, I have no certain evidence of whether or not this is true, but you know what, it sounds true, so I m going to tell you the story anyway I mean, it s totally understandable, and Dumas the son s version was waysatisfying anyway I get it And given, as I mentioned above, his apparently insufficient amount of primary source material, it makes sense that he would want to use this fill in whenever possible There was only one time that I recall where he seemed to have enough documents to compare the son s version of events to his father s version to an independent, third party official version and then dismiss the son s version as hopelessly embellished But even after that he kept using the material extensively It makes it even tougher to trust him after that.In the end, while I agree with all the reviews that praise the fascinating and unique topic of this biography, I m not sure that I agree that it deserved a Pulitzer from the perspective of the writing The story of the research is stronger than the research itself, and Reiss imagination is sometimes obviouslyat work than the primary source materials themselves Each time these faults showed themselves they made me trust him a little less, which lessened my enjoyment of the ultimate product I would recommend it, but I would also recommend that any reader keep their eye out for the sort of thing I m talking about and make sure that you keep a healthy dose of skepticism intact Despite all this,I also want to credit Reiss with several other interesting subjects he discussed as well, that people should definitely be aware that they will enjoy when reading this a discussion of Mameluke soldiers and the French Army in Egypt, interracial schooling in Paris and the fate of the son of Henri Christophe of Haiti, the awful experience of being a POW in 18th century Italy with no functioning government to help you, a discussion of the French concept of citizenship and all the interesting figures who flocked to Paris to fight in the revolutionary armies and why I want to do him justice enough to let you know that there are plenty of interesting tidbits that await you, even if I have some reservations about the writing of the main subject

  5. says:

    Bettie s BooksThis Count came from Haiti a shithole country, according to the racist in chief I also take a moment to remember the 2010 earthquake, and take pause as to reflect why US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are being ignored.

  6. says:

    4.5 5Fascinating person, exciting time period, amazingly well researched writing The prose could use some work, but hey, this is the uncorrected proof Taking that into account, the work done so far is simply extraordinary.I will admit it, I had no idea that the famous author Alexandre Dumas father was so Well Larger than life, really And the time period that he lived in that enabled him to reach such heights was almost as unbelievable Before reading this, the extent of my knowledge regard 4.5 5Fascinating person, exciting time period, amazingly well researched writing The prose could use some work, but hey, this is the uncorrected proof Taking that into account, the work done so far is simply extraordinary.I will admit it, I had no idea that the famous author Alexandre Dumas father was so Well Larger than life, really And the time period that he lived in that enabled him to reach such heights was almost as unbelievable Before reading this, the extent of my knowledge regarding the French Revolution could be nearly encompassed by books like Les Mis rables, A Tale of Two Cities, The Eight A Novel, and other historical fiction that loved to mention the guillotine Not exactly comprehensive, as none of these books touch on the hugely successful and extremely paradoxical civil rights movement that accompanied this tumultuous time In fact, most of the other books focused on illustrating the rampant bloodthirst running through France, but this book was especially successful at drawing connections between the politically motivated guillotine and Stalin s USSR It was disconcerting seeing how both historical periods had a penchant for conspiracy and execution however, it must be said that France managed to maintain some measure of humanity due to its acceptance of mixed races on all levels of society Without this, Alex Dumas, the Black Count , would be as fictional as his son s protagonist, Edmond Dant s.It s simply a travesty that no one has heard of this man From the sounds of it, he very well single handedly kept the Revolution going, while managing to not succumb to its political machinations Throughout the book, General Dumas goes through life conquering armies despite overwhelming odds, yet he never loses his humanity when dealing with captured villages and other non fighting entities Many times he was willing to place the blame on those under his own command, as his goals were freedom and fair play for all, not just victory for his side You don t get people like that nowadays.Also, major kudos to the author If he had dictated Alex Dumas life, the book would ve been half as long, if that Instead, he chose to lay out all the historical background necessary before setting Alex up, so when the main character does something, the reader knows exactly why and how this relates to the bigger picture I m a big fan of this, not only because it s so much easier to know what s going on, it also offers many amazing snapshots full of juicy historical tidbits For example, I now know what led up to the creation of Haiti, as well as the fact that Napoleon was a major twat Not to mention how the US really got over the whole colonies business Liberty or death is one thing, but if you forget to mention the fact that the whole of Europe, especially France, basically fought Britain for you, it s a bit cheap.So Read this You learn so much, whether your interest is the man or the history Either way, it s definitely a story to be remembered, especially since it actually happened That always makes things cooler.PS Before I forget, I got this book for free through Goodreads First Reads

  7. says:

    To remember a person is the most important thing in the novels of Alexandre Dumas The worst sin anyone can commit is to forget In this dramatic and often poignant book Tom Reiss sets out to reconstruct the life of a long forgotten hero, the father of French author Alexandre Dumas and a man of extraordinary skill, courage and integrity At its heart, The Black Count Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo tells the story of Alex Dumas, the mulatto son of a French nobleTo remember a person is the most important thing in the novels of Alexandre Dumas The worst sin anyone can commit is to forget In this dramatic and often poignant book Tom Reiss sets out to reconstruct the life of a long forgotten hero, the father of French author Alexandre Dumas and a man of extraordinary skill, courage and integrity At its heart, The Black Count Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo tells the story of Alex Dumas, the mulatto son of a French nobleman and a slave, raised on Sainte Domingue and then brought to France by his father where he received a gentleman s education in the classics and the arts of combat Dumas, in the years immediately following the French Revolution, would rise to high rank and play a major role in key French military victories Reiss sweeping and meticulously researched history also sheds light on neglected chapters in French history some shocking, many utterly fascinating, and just a few glorious Reiss does not flinch at depicting the charnel house that France created in her Caribbean sugar growing colonies, the brutal chaos of the Revolution, or the bloodbath of the Terror Ironically one of the worst of the slave islands, the French colony of Sante Domingue now Haiti , was also home to a growing population of mixed race and black free men and women many of whom settled in Jeremie, a port city in the wilder mountainous areas of the Island The town became a thriving center of French influenced high culture, open to people of color, with lavish mixed race balls, theaters, opera and music This was the world in which Dumas would spend his earliest years.At the age of 15, young Dumas was taken by his father to live in a suburb of Paris, a sort of satellite Versailles, and enrolled in a the academy of the royal fencing master, de La Boessiere, where he soon developed the prodigious combat skills that would serve him well in later years The subsequent twists and turns of young Dumas career read like something right out of The Count of Monte Cristo or The Three Musketeers Dumas rise could only have happened at that exact moment in French history During the reign of the Bourbons, Enlightenment thinkers had already begun pressing for the rights of man and the emancipation of slaves living in France, but it was only for a brief time following the Revolution that a true era of emancipation ensued in which many men of mixed race, including Dumas, were able to live free lives and reach positions of great prominence Napoleon s ascent put a period on that chapter in French history and denied Dumas the HEA ending the son would give to the heroes of his books.It takes a while before Alex Dumas begins to emerge in the narrative and then it is wonderful to hear the authentic voice of the man himself, speaking clearly and with extraordinary but possibly reckless courage in his dispatches and letters home to his beloved wife Dumas is totally incorruptible, an enlightened leader and administrator with a great passion for detail and dedication to ideals of the Revolution I have excerpted some of those dispatches in the comments section below 11 13, but better yet read the book I knocked off one star because Reiss indulges in just a few too many excursions off the main path of the story, and also because there are no pictures, even though he found a photo of the statue of Alex Dumas that the Nazis destroyed

  8. says:

    This book was the October selection for my book club, and I probably would not have read it otherwise It is obviously well researched, and the author includes his own journey to access the Dumas family documents even after the keeper of the documents and the code for the lock passes away Alexandre Dumas who we all know as the author had a legendary father who was well known in the French military but because of his ethnicity and competition with Napoleon, has lost attention over the years I This book was the October selection for my book club, and I probably would not have read it otherwise It is obviously well researched, and the author includes his own journey to access the Dumas family documents even after the keeper of the documents and the code for the lock passes away Alexandre Dumas who we all know as the author had a legendary father who was well known in the French military but because of his ethnicity and competition with Napoleon, has lost attention over the years I wish I had read The Count of Monte Cristo first, because much of the character and adventures of the count are based on Dumas s father s actual life He was a soldier of legend, able to take out the enemy and outsmart his foes beyond what could normally be expected His invasion into the Alps in impossible weather feels like the stuff of superheros or myth but Reiss goes back to find the paper trail for these events in history.I learnedabout post revolution France, and its relation with the foundling USA in its early days of revolution and nationhood It was also interesting to read about how French philosophers politicians were able to outlaw slavery, paving the way for people like Alex Dumas and other sons of rich land owners to receive excellent schooling and serve in leadership roles in the military then to see these respected thinkers views of slavery in America But even they were overturned, for when Napoleon took control back in France with his newly established Italian regions, largely won by Dumas s leadership and banned people with any African descent from living within a certain radius of Paris, of owning property, and reinstated slavery within the empire I was most engaged in the beginning with the story of Dumas and early Haiti and the end post war but I will never enjoy reading about military strategy, sorry If you do, you will like this book The research and story that must be told are 5 stars my experience in actually reading it is 3 which I feel I need to remind you is fine, good even, but not a favorite

  9. says:

    This is exactly the kind of book I love and want there to beof It s well written, thorough, solidly researched and about a really interesting intersectional person Alex Dumas was the father of Alexandre Dumas the writer, he was also a black slave from the Caribbean, he was also the son of a French aristocrat who sold his partner and his other children for the price of tickets across the Atlantic, and he became a general during the French Revolution He had a remarkably exciting life, and This is exactly the kind of book I love and want there to beof It s well written, thorough, solidly researched and about a really interesting intersectional person Alex Dumas was the father of Alexandre Dumas the writer, he was also a black slave from the Caribbean, he was also the son of a French aristocrat who sold his partner and his other children for the price of tickets across the Atlantic, and he became a general during the French Revolution He had a remarkably exciting life, and Reiss also gives us context and history and background Fun to read, informative, and just an excellent piece of work

  10. says:

    This new book on the life of General Alexandre Dumas father of the French author Alexandre Dumas, p re The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers , offers the reader an enjoyable account of this famous but apparently forgotten hero.In The Black Count we get a good look at the life and career of a French Revolutionary soldier and officer, and later Napoleonic General, who served in Italy during the Revolutionary Wars and later in Egypt under Napoleon.However this is not just a military This new book on the life of General Alexandre Dumas father of the French author Alexandre Dumas, p re The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers , offers the reader an enjoyable account of this famous but apparently forgotten hero.In The Black Count we get a good look at the life and career of a French Revolutionary soldier and officer, and later Napoleonic General, who served in Italy during the Revolutionary Wars and later in Egypt under Napoleon.However this is not just a military account, it offers an insight into slavery in the French empire the life of a man of colour in 18th century France the French Revolution Napoleon s campaign in Italy Egypt and finally how the son author saw his father and how he presented him and his life in some of his most famous novels.Overall this is a very interesting and enjoyable book in which I learnt a few things about General Dumas and France that I was not aware of previously I think anyone who enjoys a good history book will love this account however if you are looking for just a military account of this officer I would recommend the book General Alexandre Dumas Soldier of the French Revolution by John Gallaher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *