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Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo | Tom Reiss
WINNER OF THE 2013 PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHYGeneral Alex Dumas is a man almost unknown today, yet his story is strikingly familiar--because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. But, hidden behind General Dumas's swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: he was the son of a black slave--who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time. Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas made his way to Paris, where he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution--until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat. The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world's first multi-racial society. TIME magazine called The Black Count "one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that sheds light on the historical moment that made it possible." But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.
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review
the_next_chapter101
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Pickpick

4/5⭐ I'm not fully sure when I finished this considering it started over on me for some reason after the ending, but I must have enjoyed it since I just now realized after 60 minutes i to ch 1 that it sounded awful familiar. I skipped to the last chapter and was like yup it started over. I highly recommend reading/listening to The Black Count. He was an incredible young man and went from nothing to being the highest in command in the French Army.

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inthegreensandblues
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🤒 At least someone doesn't mind if I never leave my bed. 😻

CoffeeNBooks Awww! 💙😺💙 Your cat looks just like my cat Smoky! 10mo
BookishMarginalia 😍😍😍 10mo
51 likes2 comments
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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A great book on sale today, if you liked The Count of Monte Cristo, this is a non-fiction book you will probably really enjoy.

GingerAntics I wish these prices would hold until Thursday when I get paid. 12mo
53 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Expandingbookshelf
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On the train this morning, some condescending dummy looked at the cover of my book, looked at me, and sneered, “Isn‘t it a little early to be reading romance?” First of all, never speak. Second of all, it feels like you were trying to be racist? Third of all, I am tired of the romance genre being made a punchline by smug jerks who don‘t read. And finally fourth, ITS NOT EVEN A ROMANCE BOOK, YA LAZY DUMMY. #morningrant

Notafraidofwords Your first point was enough 😐 1y
8 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Expandingbookshelf
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If it was good enough for Alexander Dumas‘ Dad, it should have been good enough for Rickon welcome to my Ted Talk.

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AutumnRLS
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Another great acknowledgement! 😉

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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I love a great acknowledgement!

43 likes1 stack add
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Pickpick

Whether you are interested in the life of author Alexander Dumas and his father, or the French Revolution and Napoleon‘s rise to power, or the complex role of race and slavery during that time period, or events in the life of Dumas‘s father the General that were recast in his novels...this is the book for you! So very interesting on multiple levels!

Thanks for the recommendation @TheNextBook

charl08 Brilliant book. 1y
GingerAntics Cannot wait to take on this book. It sounds amazing!!! You‘ve definitely sold me on this one. 1y
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Foxyfictionista I loved this book so much! 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics you can definitely #BlameItOnLitsy. I hope you enjoy it too! 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Foxyfictionista & @charl08 I am so glad it was recommended to me, it‘s a #BlameItOnLitsy book for me, but a fabulous one that I didn‘t even know was out there, that I definitely needed to read. (edited) 1y
DGRachel Gah! I can‘t wait to read this. It was a #BlameItOnLitsy purchase but I just haven‘t gotten to it yet. 1y
GingerAntics I didn‘t know #BlameItOnLitsy was a thing, but I‘ve got a few of those at least. lol 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics Oh yes! My Goodreads to read list has exploded! 1y
GingerAntics Good to know. My TBR has blown up since joining Litsy, too. lol 1y
70 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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😢

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Always beware of attacks on the free press... it‘s been a standard play since Napoleon.

GingerAntics And yet so many people don‘t notice it happening right now...probably because most of them would be lucky to know who Napoleon was to begin with. Forget this bit. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics Very True. And sadly if he would have just started shutting them down, instead of trying to make them seem illegitimate maybe people would have questioned more. Now I think he has his base so convinced, they‘d cheer if he shut down the ‘fake‘ news. 1y
GingerAntics I wouldn‘t be surprised if that‘s how it happened. I wouldn‘t be surprised if that was always the intent. It‘s disturbing. 1y
43 likes3 comments
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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It really is amazing to think about, in the middle of The Terror and guillotine madness, there was also this amazing thing happing simultaneously... that got a lot less attention.

GingerAntics It really is interesting the things that get historical attention and the things that don‘t. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics Yes, and sadly in this case it was because they reversed all those gains and other countries benefiting from the slave trade definitely didn‘t want their own people getting any bright ‘ideas‘...which basically meant everyone had a motive for burying this part. 1y
GingerAntics It seems like there is always a motive for burying bits of history, that usually mean someone gained and someone else lost. It‘s sad, especially when we consider that it‘s still happening. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics Definitely, it‘s one of the benefits of being a reader...the more you learn, the more you question and pay attention. Very important skills to navigate the world, in any time. 1y
47 likes4 comments
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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That‘s sounds really familiar.... I‘m so glad I re-read The Count of Monte Cristo first, these true stories behind some of the fictional ones are fascinating.

GingerAntics Found this at my library, but they are back logged on the count of monte cristo...I‘m wondering if I should wait now. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics Nope, enjoy! But if you want you can get the Count of Monte Cristo from Project Gutenberg, on Kindle, or in Serial Reader for free. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics I‘ll leave it up to you though if you want abridged or unabridged, LOL 1y
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GingerAntics I actually just found the penguin classic version on iBooks for free. No idea how that happened. I‘m pretty sure that‘s got to be a glitch, but I‘ll take what I can get. I‘ll read it “real quick” (as quickly as you can read 1800+ pages) before I read this one since I haven‘t read it since my grandmother read it to me when I was a preschooler (so I guess I‘ve technically never “read” it. lol) I did see the movie with Jim Caviezel in 2002. (edited) 1y
GingerAntics Don‘t think that counts, though. lol 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics Nope, it‘s a classic past the publishers extension date, that why places like Project Gutenberg can offer it for free, and most ebook sellers do too, although some charge .99 for searchable chapters, etc. That how I got it, and just FYI that‘s true for any Shakespeare, Austen, etc... in fact most everything published before 1920.. a great resource for classics https://www.gutenberg.org/ 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics It counts! Having them read to you is the best. I read the abridged version in HS, I didn‘t even know it was the abridged version at the time. I just read the full version this summer. 1y
GingerAntics I would have no way of knowing which one she read to me all those years ago. I used to have serval of the lovely hardcover editions she had to read to me, but that wasn‘t in there so I don‘t know if she borrowed it or loaned it out and it never came back, or what. I hardly remember anything now beyond one little bit of Anne of Green Gables. I know she read them, I think I was just so young they didn‘t stick with me as well. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics That May be true, but the memory of her reading them to you is what‘s important in this case! 1y
GingerAntics Probably. I figured out that it‘s the project Gutenberg version. It‘s just using the penguin classics cover. Oh well. I‘ve got it and that‘s the important part. Very excited for this now. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics I hope you enjoy it. The Count is a great tale of revenge with lots of hidden treasure, swashbuckling, etc. The non-fiction about the author‘s father is very interesting, not only the history of the time, but those tidbits you can see that the author then reflected in his stories. I figure I‘ll have to add The Three Musketeers to my future reading too. It‘s another one I‘ve seen films for, but have never read. 1y
GingerAntics I‘ve never read that one either. I‘m thinking I need to go look for it, too. lol 1y
GingerAntics Just found the audiobooks for under $3 a piece. Count of Monte Cristo is 57 hours and 22 minutes long!!! Sheesh!!! I guess that‘s 2,000ish pages for ya. lol 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics I believe it. There is always librivox too. Basically the same books as Project Gutenberg, but audiobooks read by volunteers. Of course the narrators are hit-and-miss then, but usually there‘s a few versions to choose from. 1y
GingerAntics I hadn‘t even thought to look on librivox or lit2go. So many free resources for classics I‘m forgetting them all. Good thinking. 1y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Note to self: when coming upon The Time Machine, Tardis, Bill & Ted‘s Phonebooth, or a DeLorean...do NOT visit this time and place!

Laura317 Agreed! Apparently strange things are afoot in Europe. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Laura317 Yea, I think we book readers need to pay special attention to the time periods where they burned books and avoid them (especially since they were burning the readers too)! 1y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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😂🤦‍♀️😂. I‘m going to have to remember that one!

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Well, at least he was planning for success...sheesh! 😂

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Damn! 🤯

GingerAntics 😯 Wow. Just wow. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @GingerAntics He was pretty mad alright! LOL 1y
GingerAntics Sure was. lol 1y
GingerAntics I‘ve got to check out this book. 1y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Can you even imagine... the long chain of office email (now texts), but all hand written and delivered by horse through the swamp!

GingerAntics Ew. I don‘t think I want to. 1y
45 likes1 comment
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SW-T
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I like this one so much I have multiple formats. Fascinating account of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas and how his life inspired his son, Alexandre Dumas, to write The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. Learning things can be fun 😉

#nonfiction #history #reread

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Commodities speculation....ruining the economy.... that sounds oddly familiar. Maybe those bankers in The Big Short should be even happier they got bailed out instead of 😵☠️

Or as Mortica Adams would say, ‘no one knows how to throw a good riot anymore‘ Cue evil laughter here.

53 likes1 comment
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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I love this description, in many ways we‘ve never even come close to this kind of equity again...and isn‘t that just the saddest statement about prejudice and how we perceive qualities by appearance even in these “modern” times.🧐

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Loving this book, such a good one after reading The Count of Monte Cristo last month. It makes me want to read the rest of Dumas‘s back catalog!

Moray_Reads It's a brilliant piece of non-fiction. Totally fascinating 1y
Daisey This is one of my favorite biographies. 1y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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That is fascinating, the free blacks on the islands who had access to theater, opera, etc at one point in history, incorporated that into their religious practices that were passed down on the island.

TuesdayReviews I just started the Revolutions podcast season that deals with the revolution in Haiti. Fascinating, under-appreciated history. 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @TuesdayReviews I may have to look into that. I‘m trying to add some podcasts into my day. 1y
46 likes2 comments
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Really an amazing part of history, that I didn‘t know a lot about before.

51 likes1 stack add
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Really an amazing part of history, that I didn‘t know a lot about before.

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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Such a great opening to this book, so glad you recommended it to me @TheNextBook the parallels with his father‘s life in the son‘s novels is really interesting, the rest makes it amazing. Sad this brief period didn‘t last and Dumas the writer saw racism spread in his lifetime.

#Nonfiction2018

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cdreincarnate
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Pickpick

I learned so much about the French Revolution and one of its top generals by reading this book. It‘s a fascinating read that‘s almost as gripping as one of his son‘s novels. Alexandre Dumas Jr. couldn‘t have asked for better inspiration than his larger-than-life father.

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cdreincarnate
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Ah, Sunday! 📖🌞☕️

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cdreincarnate
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🎶 “I helped Lafayette draft a declaration
Then I said I gotta go.” 🎶

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TheNextBook
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Pickpick

Well, I just finished this book and I am highly recommending it. It is the story of General Dumas who was the son of a white man and enslaved Black woman who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the 18th century France. This book is filled with history as it changes throughout the life of Dumas. Thoroughly researched and excellently told. I am so happy I learned of this man and his extroardinary life. Reading his sons book next! #bookpairings

Gezemice Wow, I did not know that! Sounds like I need to read this! 2y
Liatrek I started this book and still need to finish but I‘ve really enjoyed what I read so far. I did buy the Count of Monte Cristo to read once I finish this one. 2y
Foxyfictionista I loved this book so much!! 2y
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Weaponxgirl I never knew about this, I must read it! 2y
Daisey I agree! This is a fascinating biography! 2y
TheNextBook @Daisey @Foxyfictionista I thought it was really well written and I learned so much about the French Revolution and Napolean! 2y
TheNextBook @Gezemice @Weaponxgirl It‘s dense because the author did an excellent job getting information but so good. 2y
TheNextBook @Liatrek keep reading! The ending is so discouraging! His history deserves to be known. Starting tomorrow with @Riveted_Reader_Melissa 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @TheNextBook Yes, I have this one to read too now! I love your book pairings!! 2y
TheNextBook @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m going to keep doing them because I really enjoy doing them now. Since this will take a while the next will be in July. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @TheNextBook Sounds good, it will give me time to catch up while you‘re on vacation too. 👍 2y
62 likes5 stack adds11 comments
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TheNextBook
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Litsy was a mess yesterday but that‘s when I started this and it is good. It‘s dense. There is a ton of history laced throughout the story of Alexander Dumas‘s father but really interesting stuff here

Foxyfictionista I have so much love for this book!! 2y
Daisey I agree; this book is amazing! 2y
Notafraidofwords Ohhh I‘m adding ! 2y
hermyknee Added. Every time you say a book is amazing, it is amazing. 😍 2y
57 likes6 stack adds4 comments
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DGRachel
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I know it‘s Independent Bookstore Day, but I couldn‘t bring myself to fight the traffic to get to mine. Instead, I used my 15% off entire purchase coupon at the B&N 10 minutes from my house. I *may* have gone overboard, but #NortonCriticalEditions 😍😍. I have an urge to give Wuthering Heights another try, and I cannot resist a #NCE. Plus, Alexandre Dumas is one of my favs. The tagged book is a biography of his father!
#bookhaul

MyBookLife I read Wuthering heights a few years ago, and I didn‘t like it. I was really disappointed. I loved Jane Eyre!! 2y
DGRachel @MyBookLife Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorites. I read Wuthering Heights for school the summer before my senior year of high school and hated it. I figured enough time had passed that maybe I should give it another try. 2y
2BR02B @MyBookLife Same here. The characters are just so awful. Reading an entire book about all the horrible things they did to one another was like torture for me. 2y
BookishJess Wuthering Heights is worth another try! I also first read it the summer before my senior year and I HATED it. We then had to read it again during the school year (teacher wanted us to have read it twice) and that‘s when I fell in love with it. But I‘ve also never read Jane Eyre so I can‘t say which is better! 2y
CindyMyLifeIsLit Good choice! Opportunities to acquire Norton Critical Editions should NEVER be passed up!! 😁 2y
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TheNextBook
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My #bookpairing for May! The inspiration for Alexander Dumas‘s The Count of Monte Cristo was his Black father so I‘m pairing these two stories! Will be reading mid May!

ReadingEnvy My book club read The Black Count and learned a lot! 2y
Notafraidofwords I‘m about 150 pages into the count of Monte cristo. It‘s a lot different than I expected. 2y
TheNextBook @readingenvy I‘ve had it forever and have really wanted to pair this and just didnt have the time! Making time now! 2y
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TheNextBook @Notafraidofwords I don‘t know what to expect. Is it dry? Dense?! Are you entertained? 2y
Notafraidofwords @TheNextBook I don‘t really know how to answer that because I didn‘t have a specific expectation. I thought it would be really really really literary but it really isn‘t filled with beautiful sentences as I thought. I guess that‘s a misconception of mine that I have of classics. It‘s slightly more political than I thought. I find some of the politics a little dense. 2y
Notafraidofwords But im not that far in though. 2y
JamieArc @TheNextBook I‘m about 250 pages into The Count of Monte Cristo, and I‘m enjoying it way more than I thought I would! I figured that at over 1200 pages, there had to be passages that were boring or dry, but I‘m not finding that at all. It‘s good storytelling, engaging, and easy to read. 2y
batsy Having never read Count of Monte Cristo, this seems like a great plan and I should do this book pairing when I get around to it :) The Black Count sounds really interesting. 2y
TheNextBook @Notafraidofwords ok I‘ll tag you when I start! 2y
TheNextBook @JamieArc okay! I have this paperback but I think I‘m going to get it on my ebook! I‘m glad you are enjoying it. 2y
TheNextBook @batsy I‘ll let you know how it goes. As soon as I heard about The Black Count I was highly intrigued and this just sounded perfect. I‘m going to do pairings for the rest of the year and I‘m pretty sure it will be fiction/nonfiction the rest of the way. 2y
51 likes11 comments
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Liberty
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Day 22 of the @bookriot #Riotgrams Challenge: book that should be adapted! I‘ll settle for a film, but this should really be Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s next musical. ♥️

Zelma And I bet it would be another runaway success! 2y
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Liatrek
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#riotgrams Book and beverage 🍷📚

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Liatrek
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My February TBR pile ❤️ Super excited and hope to finish all these this month 📚📚📚

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Moray_Reads
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Pickpick

This biography of General Alex Dumas the all-but-forgotten father of Alexandre Dumas achieves a remarkable number of things. It reveals the links between Alex's life and the Count of Monte Cristo, it recreates the life of a remarkable man whose significant role in the French Revolution had been virtually lost and, most importantly, it traces the inconsistent treatment of people of colour during the revolutionary period 👇

Moray_Reads Tom Reiss uses the life of General Dumas as the lens through which we can understand the trials of people who were released from slavery into the idealism and equality of the early French Republic, only to be cast down again as Napoleon built his Empire. Using lost documents by the General himself, contemporary accounts and the touchingly sentimental writing of the Dumas the author this is a brilliant engaging work far beyond biography 2y
LauraBrook Great review! This has been on my TBR for years and years, and I‘ve only heard good things. (Note to self: read this book already!!!) 2y
rohit-sawant Fantastic review! 2y
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Moray_Reads
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I suppose Mondays aren't ALL bad...

Kalalalatja Definitely not! 😍 2y
saresmoore Heaven! You deserve it. ♥️ 2y
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Moray_Reads
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Amazing. The rise of an elite mixed-race class on Sant Domingue in the 17C caused a cultural blending that means modern Haitian Voodoo practices are influenced by European Commedia dell'arte traditions.

LeahBergen Wow! 2y
batsy That is fascinating. 2y
44 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Moray_Reads
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@Foxyfictionista's review reminded me that this has been on my TBR far too long I managed to pick it up at the library

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Foxyfictionista
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Pickpick

⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️⚔️ Read this book. It was so interesting. I didn't realise that Alexandre Dumas (the novelist) was mixed race. That's actually him in the cover of this book (so it says on the back). He idolised his father so much and he had this portrait made of himself dressed like his dad, the war hero. I really want to read The Count of Monte Cristo now.

Moray_Reads This has been in my list for so long. And I can't recommend the Count of Monte Cristo enough, one of my all time favourites 2y
Foxyfictionista @Moray_Reads I love The Count of Monte Cristo too!!! It's been a while since I've read it though. It definitely needs a reread. 2y
MallenNC I have this and have been meaning to read it! I'm glad it was good. 2y
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Foxyfictionista @MallenNC I loved it. I learned so much! I hope you like it too! 2y
MallenNC @Foxyfictionista This review might move it off my shelves and closer to my "books in progress" stack. 2y
charl08 Fantastic book - worth the rave review! 2y
Foxyfictionista @MallenNC DO IT 🤣🤣🤣 2y
Foxyfictionista @charl08 Thank you! I'm having trouble starting a new book because I keep thinking about this one. 2y
minkyb Very interesting! 2y
Daisey I loved this book and Count of Monte Cristo. This is also one of the books that got me started on nonfiction audiobooks. 2y
Foxyfictionista @minkyb I highly recommend it. 2y
Foxyfictionista @Daisey That's interesting. I haven't listened to any nonfiction audio books yet. 2y
Donnasmiles This book recently came to my attention so I ordered a used copy and it‘s now here! Can‘t wait to dig in after I finish Exotic Stories For Punjabi Widows... 2y
Foxyfictionista @Donnasmiles It's so good!! It felt really cinematic. Enjoy! 2y
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BookBrat
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Stopped reading this a few years ago for some reason. Finally picked it up again this weekend and am loving it. Absolutely fascinating!

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howjessreads
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Time for #Julyinreview! Thank goodness for audiobooks. 11/15 of my July reads were on audio! My favorites were The Ends of the World and The Black Count. #monthinreview #julybooks

Daisey I thought The Black Count was amazing and it's the audiobook that sold me on nonfiction audio! 2y
46 likes1 comment
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mboots
Pickpick

A pick and good read (or listen). I enjoyed learning about General Alex Dumas and his life.

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RealBooks4ever
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Novelist Alexandre Dumas' father, General Alex Dumas! #SetInFrance #JubilantJuly

21 likes1 stack add
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howjessreads
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Pickpick

I finished this book yesterday, but I still keep thinking about the amazing, tragically short life of General Alexandre Dumas (father of the novelist with the same name).
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Born from the relationship of a French count and one of his slaves, Dumas rose to prominence during the French Revolution thanks to his amazing bravery, intelligence, and horsemanship. He was one of the most prominent figures in the Revolution until he (con't in comments)

24 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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howjessreads

"Revolutionary France had never tried a simple president or prime minister. But, clothing themselves in the trappings of democracy, dictators may, like drag queens, tend to overdo it."

?????

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howjessreads
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Loving this book! Went for a quick, moonlit #audiowalk to get my last 1000 steps for the day.

Flaneurette I have been doing sooo bad on my steps since the kids have been home from school! 2y
howjessreads @Flaneurette - yeah summer is my hardest season. Hard to drag kids to gym, and too hot to walk outside except late at night. 😕🌵 2y
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Somasis
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Pickpick

Very interesting read, it made me want to check out more books or French history, while making me realize that I know very little about Italy prior to WWII. I picked this up as a precursor to Dumas Count of Monte Cristo, and I'm really looking forward to digging into that soon!