One of Alexandre Dumas's most popular adventure novels is "The Count of Monte-Cristo". What is little known is that the famous writer made up neither its plot nor its characters. Dumas actually heard the true story of a man named François Picault during a stay at a private mansion and only adapted it into the novel everybody knows . Picault (who in the book would become Edmond Dantès) was about to marry the beautiful Marguerite (Mercédès in the novel) when he was denounced by three jealous friends who falsely accused him of being a spy for England. Picault was placed under a form of house arrest. In his prison, he made friends with an Italian abbot. When the man died, he left his fortune to Picault whom he had begun to treat as a son. On his release, Picault, who had become wealthy, was able to pursue his ruthless revenge on the three men who were responsible for his misfortune.