On the day of his wedding, Edmond Dantès is falsely accused of treason, arrested, and imprisoned without trial in a grim island fortress off Marseilles. A fellow prisoner inspires Dantès to escape and guides him to a fortune in treasure. Dantès returns home under the pseudonym of the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo, in order to avenge himself on the men who conspired to destroy him.
The Count of Monte Cristo takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815-1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. It begins just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It centres around a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty.