The Count of Monte Cristo (French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas (père). Completed in 1844, it is one of the author's most popular works, along with The Three Musketeers.
The story takes place in France, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean, and in the Levant during the historical events of 1815–1838. It begins from just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile) and spans through to the reign of Louis-Philippe of France.
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 focuses on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty.
The book is considered a literary classic today. According to Luc Sante, «The Count of Monte Cristo has become 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.«
Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870), also known as Alexandre Dumas, père, was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of high adventure. Translated into nearly 100 languages, these have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Laterwere originally published as serials. His novels have been adapted since the early twentieth century for nearly 200 films.