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Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas  |  Grades: 10-12   |  Lexile Level: 930

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Teacher Guide, Lesson Plans, Novel UnitAbout The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Set against the turbulent years of the Napoleonic era, Alexandre Dumas's thrilling adventure story is one of the most widely read romantic novels of all time. 

A popular bestseller since its publication in 1844, The Count of Monte Cristo is one of the great page-turning thrillers of all time. Set against the tumultuous years of the post-Napoleonic era, Alexandre Dumas's grand historical romance recounts the swashbuckling adventures of Edmond Dantès, who prepares for and executes revenge against the three men responsible for his fifteen years in prison. 

Falsely accused of treason, the young sailor Edmund Dantes is arrested on his wedding day and imprisoned in the island fortress of the Chateau d'If. After staging a dramatic escape, he sets out to discover the fabulous treasure of Monte Cristo and catch up with his enemies.

A novel of enormous tension and excitement, Monte Cristo is also a tale of obsession and revenge. Believing himself to be an 'Angel of Providence', Dantes pursues his vengeance to the bitter end, only then realizing that he himself is a victim of fate.

Biographical Notes About Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) lived a life as romantic as that depicted in his famous novels. He was born in Villers-Cotterèts, France. His early education was scanty, but his beautiful handwriting secured him a position in Paris in 1822 with the du'Orléans, where he read voraciously and began to write. His first play, Henri III et sa cour (1829), scored a resounding success for its author and the romantic movement. His lavish spending and flamboyant habits led to the construction of his fabulous Château de Monte-Cristo, and in 1851 he fled to Belgium to escape creditors.

Dumas's overall literary output reached more than 277 volumes, but his brilliant historical novels made him the most universally read of all French novelists. With collaborators, mainly Auguste Maquet, Dumas wrote such works as The Three Musketeers (1843-1844); its sequels, Twenty Years After (1845) and the great mystery The Man in the Iron Mask (1845-1850); and The Count of Monte Cristo (1844).

His work ignored historical accuracy, psychology, and analysis, but its thrilling adventure and exuberant inventiveness continued to delight readers, and Dumas remains one of the prodigies of nineteenth-century French literature.

"Dumas was . . . a summit of art. Nobody ever could, or did, or will improve upon Dumas's romances and plays." --George Bernard Shaw 

Available Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Novel Units, and Activities for The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: