Alexandre Dumas and Monte-Cristo

By Patti Lecron

"Ah! Monte-Cristo is one of the most delicious follies ever made. It is the most royal bonbonniere that exists!"  wrote Honore Balzac, describing the dazzling chateau his flamboyant literary rival Alexandre Dumas had just built. "One could become madly in love with this monument, like one loves the moon when one is young," journalist and novelist Leon Gozlan wrote.

Dumas, who had already swept the public off its feet with his theatrical successes, had become immensely popular with his novels published in the newspapers in serial form. Never before had an author earned as ...

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