This is a really complicated, moment-in-history (and moment in an individual author's understanding) look at race in French/English sociey in a colony (Mauritius, although it's pretty generic -- Dumas had never been there). It's very messy. Georges is a superior human being, a mulatto who is of superior character to the whites around him. But he is also disdainful of the black slaves on the island -- he finds only one that he calls worth of the title of human. Eeeuuuugh. I guess he comes out as disdainful of people in general, except those who live by a high code of honor. And by the way, is Dumas the only author that makes disdainful into a compliment?
I read this book because of its description in [b:The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo|13330922|The Black Count Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo|Tom Reiss|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337693786s/13330922.jpg|18538602]. That's an excellent non-fiction biography of General Alex Dumas, the father of this author. His experiences as a mulatto in white society, as well as the author's own, inform the book. All in all, it's a painful, cringe-inducing read, but also just fascinating as a true historical piece. It's basically Dumas' portrait of what being a true man is, independent of race.