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The Count of Monte Cristo

Historical Background

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"It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature."
-Henry James

The audience Alexandre Dumas was writing for was the people of France.  He wanted to "teach the French people their historical heritage" (Clark).  A reason Dumas might have wanted to write this book was for his father, a general in Napolean's army.
In the beginning of the book, Napolean was in exile on the Isle of Elba, which he really was in history and then came back to power again.  Napolean is alluded to many times in the book and is given many nicknames throughout. 
Another historical aspect from the book was the political conflict between the Royalists and the Bonapartists.  Villefort was a Royalist but his father was a Bonapartist.
Monte Cristo is an Italian island that was used as a prison.  It is famous because of Alexandre Dumas's book. (Kertzer)