“IT'S NECESSARY TO HAVE WISHED FOR DEATH IN ORDER TO KNOW HOW GOOD IT IS TO LIVE": Exceptionally Rare First Belgian Edition of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte-Cristo

  • Le Comte de Monte-Christo [The Count of Monte-Cristo].
  • Le Comte de Monte-Christo [The Count of Monte-Cristo].

Le Comte de Monte-Christo [The Count of Monte-Cristo].


Item Number: 88153

Bruxelles: Societe Belge de Librairie, 1845-1846.

One of the earliest known editions of The Count of Monte Cristo released simultaneously with the true first edition published in Paris by Pétion in 18 volumes with the first two issued in 1844 and the remaining sixteen in 1845. This Belgian pirated edition features a misspelling of the title with “Christo” which was corrected in the L’Écho des Feuilletons illustrated edition, Paris 1846 with plates by Gavarni. Eight volumes. Small octavos bound in full period green calf over pebbled morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spines, raised bands, all edges hand colored green, ribbons bound into each volume. In very good condition with some wear to the extremities. OCLC locates only one other copy of this work. Exceptionally rare.

The Count of Monte Cristo, in particular, is "perhaps the outstanding work of fiction to reveal the futility of human vengeance, even when it attains its utmost completeness. Maurice Baring calls it the most popular book in the world" (Frank Wild Reed). Set in France, Italy, and the Mediterranean islands in the midst of the Bourbon Restoration, the epic adventure story centres on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes jail, and makes plans to exact revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. A fixture of Western civilization’s literature, it is widely considered “...one of the best thrillers ever written" (Reid, 134).

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