The Black Count: Glory, revolution, betrayal and the real Count of Monte Cristo (Paperback)Tom Reiss (author)
- 5+ in stock
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY 2013
'The Three Musketeers! The Count of Monte Cristo! The stories of course
are fiction. But here a prize-winning author shows us that the inspiration for
the swashbuckling stories was, in fact, Dumas's own father, Alex - the son
of a marquis and a black slave... He achieved a giddy ascent from private
in the Dragoons to the rank of general; an outsider who had grown up
among slaves, he was all for Liberty and Equality. Alex Dumas was the
stuff of legend'
So how did such this extraordinary man get erased by history? Why are
there no statues of 'Monsieur Humanity' as his troops called him? The
Black Count uncovers what happened and the role Napoleon played in
Dumas's downfall. By walking the same ground as Dumas - from Haiti to
the Pyramids, Paris to the prison cell at Taranto - Reiss, like the novelist
before him, triumphantly resurrects this forgotten hero.
'Entrances from first to last. Dumas the novelist would be proud'
'Brilliant' Glasgow Herald
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 370 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 32 mm
Totally thrilling... Brings to life one of history's great forgotten characters -- Simon Sebag Montefiore
We believe we know the glories of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. We believe we understand the horror of slavery and the oppression of Africans. But what is the relationship between the grand goal of liberation and the deep tragedy of racism? As Reiss shows us, answers can be found in the extraordinary life of a forgotten French hero of the great revolutionary campaigns - a hero who was black -- Timothy Snyder
Tom Reiss can do it all: gather startling research and write inspired prose; find life's great stories and then tell them with real brilliance. In The Black Count the master journalist-storyteller opens the door to the truth behind one of literature's most exciting stories, and opens it wide enough to show the delicate beauty of the lives within -- Strauss, National Book Critics Circle Award winning author of Half a Life and Chang and Eng
A terrific story...(Reiss) is to be congratulated for retrieving such a splendid character from the dustbin of history -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times *
A terrific story, every bit as good as one of Dumas's novels, and Reiss tells it with suitable gusto and swagger -- John Preston * Mail on Sunday *
A rarefied, intimate literary study delineating a roiling revolutionary era * Bookseller *
Brilliant... Reiss directs a full scale production that jangles with drawn sabres, trembles with dashing deeds and resonates with the love of a son for a remarkable father -- Hugh MacDonald * Glasgow Herald *
Fascinating * Robin's Reviews *
Enthralling...a swashbuckling tale -- Nigel Jones * Guardian *
Richly imaginative... In 1802, Marie-Louise gave birth to their third child, Alexandre, Dumas pere. That Alexandre was a figure of vast appetite and incredible energy, but thanks to Reiss we now know that Dumas grandpere was even more interesting. A statue in his honour once stood in the Place Malesherbes in Paris, but it was destroyed by the Nazis since it celebrated a man of mixed race. There still isn't a monument to him, but there should be -- Leo Damrosch * Scotsman *
A cross between military biography and literary detective story...the author's eye for colourful detail and palpable enthusiasm for his subject make for a highly entertaining read -- Andrew Lynch * Sunday Business Post *
Heartfelt...highly readable...relentlessly, lovingly researched, indexed, cross-referenced and anecdotal. It is sustained by the author's admiration for a singular individual, the brilliant father of a novelist whose subject was heroism and justice, the concepts by which his beloved sire had lived -- Eileen Battersby * Irish Times *
A fascinating tale even more incredible than those penned by his famous son... Reiss writes his history with a suitably swashbuckling edge and brings to life a man who deserves to be remembered in his own right * Hampshire Chronicle (syndicated review) *
This brilliantly researched book...deserves a film treatment all of its own -- Christopher Hudson * Daily Mail *
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