The Count of Monte Cristo (French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by French writer Alexandre Dumas (père) completed in 1844. It is likely one of the writer’s most popular works, along side The Three Musketeers. Like many of his novels, it is expanded from plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet.
The story takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean all the way through the historical events of 1815–1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. It begins just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It centres around a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. Then again, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent in addition to the guilty. In addition, this can be a story that involves romance, loyalty, betrayal, and selfishness, shown all the way through the story as characters slowly reveal their true inner nature.
The book is thought of as a literary classic today. According to Luc Sante, “The Count of Monte Cristo has transform a fixture of Western civilization’s literature, as inescapable and immediately identifiable as Mickey Mouse, Noah’s flood, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood.