Alexandre Dumas: La Dame aux camélias [The Lady of the Camellias]

(2632 words)

While the play La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils remains popular throughout the world, its lesser known source as a novel deserves equal attention. His third novel, it was the first to become a bestseller when published in 1848. The story describes the tragic love between the young bourgeois Armand Duval and a courtesan named Marguerite Gautier, a character largely inspired by Dumas fils’s short liaison with the famous Marie Duplessis (her real name was Alphonsine Plessis), who died prematurely of tuberculosis. Although the topic of courtesans was frequently addressed in nineteenth-century literature (see Manon Delorme by Victor Hugo, Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes by Honor&…

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Vernier-Larochette, Béatrice. "La Dame aux camélias". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 October 2011
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]