Georges (novel)

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Georges
Author Alexandre Dumas, père
Country France
Language French
Genre Historical, Adventure, Romance
Publication date
1843
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 336 pages (hardcover)

Georges is a short novel by Alexandre Dumas, père set on the island of Mauritius, from 1810 to 1824. This novel is of particular interest to scholars because Dumas reused many of the ideas and plot devices later in The Count of Monte Cristo, and because race and racism are at the center of this novel, and this was a topic on which Dumas, despite his part-African ancestry, rarely wrote.[1] Georges was first published in 1843.[2] It has been republished in English as George; or, the Planter of the Isle of France.

A new translation by Tina Kover, edited by Werner Sollors and with an introduction by Jamaica Kincaid, was published by Random House, Inc./Modern Library in May 2007.

Plot[edit]

The novel concerns the life of Georges, the son of a wealthy mulatto plantation owner named Munier, in the Isle de France (now Mauritius). While part-black, Georges appears to be very light-skinned, if not white. As a child, he witnesses an attempt by the British to gain control of the island. Because Georges' father is a mulatto, the other plantation owners refuse to fight alongside him. Instead, Georges' father leads the blacks and delivers a crushing blow against the invading forces. Refusing to acknowledge that a man of colour saved them, M. Malmedie and the other white plantation owners ignore the accomplishment.

M. Malmedie's son Henry mocks Georges because of this, resulting in a fight between the two. Afterward, worried about any retaliation on the behalf of the plantation owner's father, Georges' father sends Georges and his old brother to Europe to be educated.

In Europe, the brothers are separated when the older brother gets a job on a sailing ship. Georges becomes cultured, deeply educated and popular in Parisian circles. Through numerous tests of will Georges overcomes his weaknesses and becomes skilled in a variety of fields, ranging from hunting to the art of seducing women.

Upon his return, he finds that the plantation owners have forgotten who he is. In little time he becomes the toast of society, and a beautiful woman falls in love with him. He also discovers that his brother has become the captain of a slave-ship. However, Georges cannot tolerate the injustice of slavery, so he conspires to lead a slave revolt. When this revolt fails, he is incarcerated and condemned to death. While he is being brought to be executed, he is saved by a gang of pirates led by his brother.

Characters[edit]

Georges: Georges is the protagonist of the novel. He is a light-skinned mulatto who is easily mistaken as being white.

Munier: The father of Georges. A wealthy mulatto plantation owner. Interestingly enough, he is a slave-owner.

Jacques: The older brother of Georges. He becomes a slave-trader and a pirate captain.

M. Malmedie: A jealous and racist man who despises Georges.

Henry Malmedie: A spoiled and racist young man the same age as Georges.

Sara: She is the cousin of Henry Malmedie, and engaged to him. However, she falls in love with Georges leading to conflict between the two men.

Antonio Malai: A power-hungry slave who, angry because he was not elected leader of the slave revolt, betrays the rebellion. His betrayal results in the failure of the rebellion.

Miko-Miko: A Chinese merchant and friend to Georges.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Alexandre Dumas père Web Site". Georges. Retrieved 2006-04-06. 
  2. ^ Reed, Frank Wild (1933). A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père. England: J. A. Neuhuys. p. 152. 

External links[edit]