The Count of Monte Cristo is a novel by Alexandre Dumas. It has become one of the most popular French classic novels ever written.
This classic adventure story was originally written in French. It was later translated into many other languages. The historical setting of events takes place in France, the Mediterranean islands and in Italy.
The story concerns with various themes, in particular, that of betrayal, justice, mercy, hope and vengeance. It also demonstrates the human ability to forgive.
The main character is Edmond Dantes, a sailor, who has just been recently promoted as a captain. For the good fortunes he had, it does not come as a surprise that some of his close friends get jealous. As events unfolds, Dantes is falsely accused.
The plot begins in high spirits as Dantes is promoted to the status of Captain. He returns to Marseille with his new position, excited to marry Mercédès, his fiancée. On his deathbed, his predecessor, Captain Leclère, a supporter of the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte, charges Dantès to deliver a package to Maréchal Bertrand, a former Grand Marshal who had been exiled to the isle of Elba with Bonaparte, and then a letter from Elba to an unknown man in Paris.
It was later revealed that a jealous rival, supposed to be his fiancée's cousin, Fernand, with the help of Edmond Dantes's purser of the ship, Danglars, sends an anonymous letter that accuses Dantes of being a Bonapartist traitor. Villefort, the deputy crown prosecutor is aware of Dantes's innocence but eventually chooses to save his political career rather than save Dantes for life imprisonment without any trial.
In a nutshell, the novel has been written on the imprisonment of Dantes, including how a dying fellow prisoner bequeathed him a treasure therefore making him wealthy, how Dantes undertook the possession to help himself, and how he plotted his successful revenge against his former friends.
Some believe that the author, Alexandre Dumas, got the idea for The Count of Monte Cristo from the records on a similar incident gathered by a French police archivist. However, there hasn't been any formal proof available for this belief.
There have been a number of related novels in different languages and feature films, based on this popular classic. The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers have both been highly acclaimed the greatest French classic novels ever written.