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

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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 Honoré de Balzac,


by Zola, among others) Dumas fils wanted to show the courtesan in a…

2486 words

Citation: Vernier, Béatrice. "La Dame aux camélias". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 October 2011 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

31709 La Dame aux camélias 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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