The novelist Dumas would one day borrow features from both of his uncles, not to mention his grandfather, the acknowledged scoundrel, in fashioning the central villains of The Count of Monte Cristo. Reading court documents detailing the sordid unraveling of Charles's sham fortune, which would have devastating effects on his daughter and her unsuspecting husband, I couldn't help thinking that one of the interesting things about Dumas's villains is that, while greedy and unprincipled themselves, they produce children who can be innocent and decent. This was something that the writer understood very well from his own family.
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The novelist Dumas would one day borrow features from both of his uncles, not to mention his grandfather, the acknowledged scoundrel, in fashioning the central villains of The Count of Monte Cristo. Reading court documents detailing the sordid unraveling of Charles’s sham fortune, which would have devastating effects on his daughter and her unsuspecting husband, I couldn’t help thinking that one of the interesting things about Dumas’s villains is that, while greedy and unprincipled themselves, they produce children who can be innocent and decent. This was something that the writer understood very well from his own family.

-Tom Reiss