Life After Death, or Monte Cristo in Russia
“Strange as it might seem, but several sources from which Dumas fed his immortal “Count of Monte-Cristo” can be found in the capital of Ukraine that is Kiev. Kiev newspapers inform the attentive readers about the French diplomate in Russia (Ukraine was a part of the Russian Empire then) in 1811, Count De Lagarde who communicated a lot with the local aristocracy, attended parties at the mansion of the Kiev, Governor Miloradovich, and regularly wrote diaries about everything he saw and heard. De Lagarde also visited the house of Prince Konstantinos Ypsilanti, an ethnic Greek, the former gospodar (ruler) of Moldova and Valachia, who had to seek the refuge in Kiev after the suppression of the anti-Turkish riot, led by his father, Alexander Ypsilanti. Konstantinos had been living for a long time at the court of the Sultan of Turkey and told Count De Lagarde much about the intrigues of the court, frequent poisoning of the guests by wines or sherbet.
Hasan-ibn-Sabba was also mentioned in Ypsilanti’s stories. Dumas attentively read the memoirs of De Lagarde making notes at the most attractive spots, making thus the details of Monte Crsito’s life in the Orient.
What is even more interesting, Ypsilanti mentioned the way he escaped from the Turkish prison which was used by Dumas when describing the flee of Edmond Dantes from le chateau d’If. The house of Ypsilanti is still there in Kiev. Its address is 6 Mazeppa street.”
Mazeppa Street (since 2010) has been renamed to Lavrska Street (Lavra in Greek)
The story of the streets name–there are two Greek churchs nearby