The Count of Monte Cristo, in Kentucky

Posted on 11th March 2016 by simonbeattie

Dumas 2

This week you find me in my own ‘Editor’s Sanctum’, starting to pull books together for the New York Antiquarian Book Fair next month.  It’s not often that I have a book actually published in America (I leave that to my colleagues over there), but the following recently caught my eye as it relates to European literature:

Dumas 1

It’s the first edition of a rare sequel to Dumas’ famous novel, published just five years after the original.  The author, Edmund Flagg, was born in Maine in 1815, and graduated from Bowdoin College, before moving with his family to the Midwest, where he became a lawyer and journalist, and wrote a number of plays, though he is perhaps now best known for his first book, The Far West (1838), which describes his extensive travels in Missouri and Illinois.  In 1848, Flagg was appointed secretary to the American minister in Berlin, and he remained in Europe for several years.  His stay abroad may have provided the background for Edmond Dantes, in which ‘we have laid bare to us all the concealed causes of the Revolution of February, 1848, which began acting as long ago as shortly after the Revolution of 1830.  All the prominent names in France at the present time, here find a place, and all the prominent men and women are actors and talkers’ (Publisher’s Notice).

Then there are the ‘elegant’ illustrations.  Well…

Dumas 3

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