Archive for December 6th, 2013

This is a review of a historical biography from the perspective of a Christian worldview.

The Black Count the Real Count of Monte Cristo

This is an extraordinary history of the father of the famous writer Alexander Dumas, author of The Count of Monte Cristo. Here the book presents the father, also named Alex Dumas, as the extraordinary source for his son’s later novels. It is an amazing tale of riches to rag and rags to riches. Born to a terrible French father and a black slave woman in a French slave colony, Alex Dumas moves to France, enlisted in the Army as private despite his father’s place in society would have allowed him to be an officer. It is a fascinating story of a half-black Frenchman whose heroic military service led him to become one of Napoleon’s significant Generals, though his greatness would lead to difficulties with Napoleon. This book is a great example of how history can be more amazing than works of fiction; and as the source of inspiration for fictional novels. I appreciated the book taking us back to the turbulent transition in France from monarchy to Republic than empire. To think Alex Dumas was living through this phenomenonal moment in history and as a major character while he was half-black! Amazing story, truly amazing. The only thing I wished the author of this book could have explored more in depth is the historical account of a man’s death bed confession that riveted France at the time of Alexander Dumas’ childhood that parallel the story of Edmund in The Count of Monte Cristo. It seems such a coincidence is too large to ignore if we are going to discuss about history and the book, The Count of Monte Cristo.

This is a good example of how history can be itself a better story than what human fiction could come up with.  Of course, in a Christian worldview we know that history is really the unfolding of God’s story.

(Available on Amazon)

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