Dumas, Alexandre THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO Easton Press Norwalk, Connecticut Easton Press 2003 1st Edition 1st Printing Thick 8vo 8" to 9" tall Hardcover Fine, Leather Bound, Accented in 22kt gold. Printed on archival paper with gilded edges. The endsheets are of moire fabric with a silk ribbon page marker. Smyth sewing and concealed muslin joints to ensure the highest quality binding. This book is in full leather with hubbed spines. Pristine. The Count of Monte Cristo (French) : Le Comte de Monte-Cristo is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas. It is often considered to be, along with The Three Musketeers, Dumas's most popular work. He completed the work in 1844. Disguised as the rich Count of Monte Cristo, Dantès takes revenge on the three men responsible for his unjust imprisonment: Fernand, now Count De Morcerf and Mercédès's husband; Danglars, now a wealthy banker; and Villefort, now living in Paris. The Count surfaces first in Rome, where he becomes acquainted with the Baron Franz d'Épinay, and Viscount Albert de Morcerf, Mercédès's and Fernand's son. Dantès moves to Paris, and with Albert de Morcerf's introduction, becomes the sensation of the city. Due to his knowledge and rhetorical power, even his enemies, who do not recognize him, find him charming, and because of his status they all desire his friendship. The Count dazzles the crass Danglars with his seemingly endless wealth, eventually persuading him to extend him a 6,000,000 francs credit, and withdraws 900,000. Under the terms of the arrangement, the Count can demand access to the remainder at any time. The Count manipulates the bond market, through a false telegraph signal, and quickly destroys a large portion of Danglars' fortune. The rest of it begins to rapidly disappear through mysterious bankruptcies, suspensions of payment, and more bad luck on the Stock Exchange. Villefort had in the past had an affair with Madame Danglars. She became pregnant and delivered the child in the house in which he was living at that time. After suffocating the infant, Villefort had tried to secretly bury it in a box on the grounds of the house but while doing so, he was stabbed by Bertuccio, his sworn enemy, who rescued the infant and brought him back to life. Bertuccio's sister-in-law brought the child up, giving him the name "Benedetto". The Count learns of this story from Bertuccio, who later becomes his servant. He purchases the very same house and hosts a dinner party there, to which he invites, among others, Villefort and Madame Danglars. During the dinner, the Count announces that, while doing landscaping, he had unearthed a box containing the remains of an infant and had referred the matter to the authorities to investigate. This puzzles Villefort, who knew that the infant's box had been removed and so the Count's story could not be true, and also alarms him that perhaps he knows the secret of his past affair with Madame Danglars and may be taunting him. Meanwhile, Benedetto grows up and becomes a criminal and is sentenced to the galleys with Caderousse. After being freed by "Lord Wilmore", Benedetto is sponsored by the Count to take the identity of "Viscount Andrea Cavalcanti" and is introduced by him into Parisian society at the same dinner party, with neither Villefort nor Madame Danglars suspecting that Andrea is their presumed dead son. Andrea then ingratiates himself to Danglars who betroths his daughter Eugénie to him after cancelling her engagement to Albert, son of Fernand. Caderousse blackmails Andrea, threatening to reveal his past. Cornered by "Abbé Busoni" while attempting to rob The Count's house, Caderousse begs to be given another chance, but Dantès grimly notes that the last two times he did so, Caderousse did not change. He forces Caderousse to write a letter to Danglars exposing Viscount Cavalcanti as an impostor and allows Caderousse to leave the house, but the moment Caderousse leaves the estate, he is stabbed in the back by Andrea. Caderousse manages to dictate and sign a deathbed statement identifying his killer, and the Count reveals his true identity to Caderousse moments before Caderousse dies. Years before, Ali Pasha, the ruler of Janina, had been betrayed to the Turks by Fernand. After Ali's death, his wife Vasiliki and his daughter Haydée were sold into slavery. Haydée was found and bought by Dantès and becomes the Count's ward. The Count manipulates Danglars into researching the event, which is published in a newspaper. As a result, Fernand is brought to trial for his crimes. Haydée testifies against him, and Fernand is disgraced. Mercédès, still beautiful, is the only person to recognize the Count as Dantès. When Albert blames the Count for his father's downfall and publicly challenges him to a duel, Mercédès goes secretly to the Count and begs him to spare her son. During this interview, she learns the entire truth of his arrest and imprisonment. She later reveals the truth to Albert, which causes Albert to make a public apology to the Count. Albert and Mercédès disown Fernand, who is confronted with Dantès' true identity and commits suicide. The mother and son depart to build a new life free of disgrace. Albert enlists as a soldier and goes to Africa in order to rebuild his life and honour under a new name, and Mercédès begins a solitary life in Marseille. Villefort's daughter by his first wife, Valentine, stands to inherit the fortune of her grandfather (Noirtier) and of her mother's parents (the Saint-Mérans) , while his second wife, Héloïse, seeks the fortune for her son Édouard. The Count is aware of Héloïse's intentions, and "innocently" introduces her to the technique of poison. Héloïse fatally poisons the Saint-Mérans, so that Valentine inherits their fortune. Valentine is disinherited by Noirtier in an attempt to prevent Valentine's impending marriage with Franz d'Épinay. The marriage is cancelled when d'Épinay learns that his father (believed assassinated by Bonapartists) was killed by Noirtier in a duel. Afterwards, Valentine is reinstated in Noirtier's will. After a failed attempt on Noirtier's life, which instead claims the life of Noirtier's servant Barrois, Héloïse then targets Valentine so that Édouard will finally get the fortune. However, Valentine is the prime suspect in her father's eyes in the deaths of the Saint-Merans and Barrois. On learning that Morrel's son Maximilien is in love with Valentine, the Count saves her by making it appear as though Héloïse's plan to poison Valentine has succeeded and that Valentine is dead. Villefort learns from Noirtier that Héloïse is the real murderer and confronts her, giving her the choice of a public execution or committing suicide by her own poison. Fleeing after Caderousse's letter exposes him, Andrea gets as far as Compiègne before he is arrested and brought back to Paris, where he is prosecuted by Villefort. While in prison awaiting trial, Andrea is visited by Bertuccio who tells him who his father is and at his trial Andrea reveals that he is Villefort's son and was rescued after Villefort buried him alive. A stunned Villefort admits his guilt and flees the court. He rushes home to stop his wife's suicide but is too late; she has poisoned her son as well. Dantès confronts Villefort, revealing his true identity, but this, combined with the shock of the trial's revelations and the death of his wife and son, drives Villefort insane. Dantès tries to resuscitate Édouard but fails, and despairs that his revenge has gone too far. It is only after he revisits his cell in the Château d'If that Dantès is reassured that his cause is just and his conscience is clear, that he can fulfill his plan while being able to forgive both his enemies and himself. After the Count's manipulation of the bond market, Danglars is left with only a destroyed reputation and 5,000,000 francs he has been holding in deposit for hospitals. The Count demands this sum to fulfill their credit agreement, and Danglars embezzles the hospital fund. Abandoning his wife, Danglars flees to Italy with the Count's receipt, hoping to live in Vienna in anonymous prosperity. While leaving Rome, he is kidnapped by the Count's agent Luigi Vampa and is imprisoned the same way that Albert was. Forced to pay exorbitant prices for food, Danglars eventually signs away all but 50,000 francs of the stolen five million (which Dantès anonymously returns to the hospitals). Nearly driven mad by his ordeal, Danglars finally repents his crimes. Dantès forgives Danglars and allows him to leave with his freedom and the money he has left. Maximilien Morrel, believing Valentine to be dead, contemplates suicide after her funeral. Dantès reveals his true identity and explains that he rescued Morrel's father from bankruptcy, disgrace and suicide years earlier. He persuades Maximilien to delay his suicide for a month. On the island of Monte Cristo a month later, Dantès presents Valentine to Maximilien and reveals the true sequence of events. Having found peace, Dantès leaves for an unknown destination to find comfort and a new life with Haydée, who has declared her love for him.
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