One of the prototypes of the Count of Monte Cristo
One of the prototypes of the Count of Monte Cristo

We are accustomed to the fact that the works of Alexandre Dumas could be called historical with a very big stretch. His mere expression that history is the rusty nail on which he hangs his novel should already be a beacon-sized warning signal. But still…

Dumas is a master at finding colorful characters in history and in an amazing way transfer them to the pages of his works. One of the heroes who had a real prototype, beloved by many Count of Monte Cristo.

Edmond Dantes (by the way, why Dantes, isn't it because Dumas = Pushkin?), Innocently condemned to imprisonment in an impregnable fortress and who later managed to escape in order to take revenge, could have been born, including thanks to history, one day really happened in France.

In the city of Nimes, the shoemaker François Picot was preparing for a wedding with a wealthy lady. Four of his friends, overwhelmed by the strongest envy, decided to ruin the young man by thinking of putting him in the eyes of officials - a British spy. Three friends Lupian, Solari and Shobar composed a denunciation, and soon Pico was arrested and without trial or investigation thrown into the dungeon of the Fenestrelle fortress. The fourth friend, Antoine Allu, cowardly kept silent about the slander and continued to live as if nothing had happened. The first few years of imprisonment, poor Francois had no idea what he was serving his sentence for, in the end, he found out the truth and was ready to commit suicide when he met an inhabitant of the next cell, an Italian priest named Tori.

As in the novel, just before his death, the priest told Pico about the treasures hidden in Milan. Ultimately, after a change of power, Pico was released and under a different name with a huge fortune returned to Paris. In the capital, he began to take his revenge. Shobar was killed first. Lupian - the main instigator of the mean deception, became the central target, Pico decided to destroy his life to the ground. By deception, he involved his beloved daughter Lupian in marriage with a criminal, when the truth was revealed, the girl died of shame and grief. His only son was sent to prison on false accusations of stealing jewelry. The restaurant is the main brainchild, it was burned to the ground.

In the end, Pico slaughtered the completely destroyed and humiliated enemy with his own hand. In his revenge, he was blind, and after poisoning Solari, he decided that all the traitors were punished. François was unaware of Antoine Allu's involvement in this story. The man, knowing full well that he could become the next victim at any moment, decided to be proactive. He kidnapped Pico and killed him, after which he tried to hide in England. On his deathbed, Allu repented, and his narrative forms the bulk of the French police investigation into the case.

It is believed that it was this story that inspired Duman, and he transformed it into an adventure novel about love and revenge, about the nobility of the soul and about the main human virtue - mercy. There is no dark criminal chronicle in the novel, it has enough historical inaccuracies, oddities and absurdities, but it still remains one of the world famous and most beloved creations of Alexandre Dumas for many years.

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