Thursday, May 24, 2012

Inspiration from the Count of Monte Cristo

"You have to listen to this history emission on the radio - it's right after lunch," my hubby has said for the last... year.

"Yeah, sounds cool," I say...and then I forget all about it.

He's a helpful, patient and persistent man, so he found them online. We started listening to one the other night as he washed dishes (did I mention he was helpful? It's part of our new schedule. I was sitting on the couch, reading folding laundry, getting kids ready for bed) The story was on Alexandre Dumas' celebrated THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, his inspiration and the real, though mysterious, story.

I found a couple links in English. No one can really authenticate it, but here's what they say happened. Pierre Picaud was engaged to the lovely and wealthy Marguerite. His friend, Loupian, was jealous; after all, he had two children and a café that needed Marguerite and her money! As a bad joke, he and two of his regulars, reported that Picaud was spying for England. The officials took things seriously and imprisoned Picaud for seven years. During that time, he met Father Torri, who died and left him a fortune in hidden treasure.

When politics changed, Picaud was released. Now wealthy, he spent his time searching revenge. His Marguerite had indeed married Loupian. Picaud hired a con man to pose as a prince and fool Loupian's daughter into falling in love. At the wedding, the pregnant bride was left at the altar, disgraced. He murdered or poisoned Loupian's two co-conspirators and had the café burned. He then tricked Loupian's son into committing a theft and framed him for arrest. Picaud was content with just ruining the man's family; he then stabbed him.      

Another of Picaud's old friends, Allut, who had apparently known about his innocence and the joke, decided he had to take action. He kidnapped and killed Picaud! His guilt caught up with him on his deathbed, where he told the whole story to the French police. Though no one else was alive to verify it.

That didn't stop it from being written in police records and a memoir by Jacques Peuchet. Alexandre Dumas sniffed out a great real life story. I love how he change it, though, growing it into a marvelous tale. Edmond Dantès didn't go after his persecutors' family, and he got Mercedes back in the end. Someday, I'll read this story in French...maybe ;)

Have you ever been falsely accused? Have you read  THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO? Have you ever gotten revenge on somebody or forgiven them? Did you know this was based off a true story? Have you ever read police records for inspiration? 

6 comments:

  1. Didn't know Cristo was based off of a real story. Yes, I've been falsely accused. It feels horrible. No, no revenge. Not in my nature though I can give a long sustained silent treatment...that is, if anyone is noticing.

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    1. The French verb is "bouder," so I sometimes hear the question "tu boudes?" Are you pouting? I use it as my signal to straighten up and get happy ;)Isn't it odd that we think they're punishing the other person by being unhappy ourselves?

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  2. I love that book, and need to read it again. I didn't know it was based on reality, though. Very interesting.

    As for revenge...well...

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    1. My greatest revenge was on my older sister as a kid. I dumped mashed banana on her french-braided hair. It was sweet...and sticky. She lived to make me regret it, though, so all's well ;)

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  3. The Count of Monte Cristo is such an original and engaging tale. It's one of my all-time favorites. I had no idea it was rooted in real historical facts. That was a terrible time to be thrown into a prison. Those jails were basically hell on earth.

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    1. Yeah, not exactly the 3 square meals and TV of modern America!

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