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La Dame aux Camélias (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Alexandre Dumas (fils) , David Coward
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 6 Jan 2000 --  
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La Dame aux Camélias (Oxford World's Classics) La Dame aux Camélias (Oxford World's Classics) 4.4 out of 5 stars (7)
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Book Description

6 Jan 2000 0192836382 978-0192836380 New edition
This new translation successfully combines a feeling for the formal proprieties of Dumas's style with a supple and colloquial liveliness that once again proves this story irresistible.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (6 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192836382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192836380
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 562,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexandre Dumas was born in 1802 at Villers-Cotterêts. His father, the illegitimate son of a marquis, was a general in the Revolutionary armies, but died when Dumas was only four. He was brought up in straitened circumstances and received very little education. He joined the household of the future king, Louis-Philippe, and began reading voraciously. Later he entered the cénacle of Charles Nodier and started writing.

In 1829 the production of his play, Henri III et sa Cour, heralded twenty years of successful playwriting. In 1839 he turned his attention to writing historical novels, often using collaborators such as Auguste Maquet to suggest plots or historical background. His most successful novels are The Count of Monte Cristo, which appeared during 1844-5, and The Three Musketeers, published in 1844. Other novels deal with the wars of religion and the Revolution. Dumas wrote many of these for the newspapers, often in daily instalments, marshalling his formidable energies to produce ever more in order to pay off his debts. In addition, he wrote travel books, children's stories and his Mémoires which describe most amusingly his early life, his entry into Parisian literary circles and the 1830 Revolution. He died in 1870.

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"An excellent translation."--Franklin I. Triplett, Muskingum College

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IT is my considered view that no one can invent fictional characters without first having made a lengthy study of people, just as it is impossible for anyone to speak a language that has not been properly mastered. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always A Favourite 25 Jan 2010
Disparaged by critics because this isn't literary enough this book has always been a sucess with the reading public, and joins those two other well known books that met with the same criticism, 'Trilby', and 'Dracula'. This was written when Alexandre Dumas fils was still quite young and was written quite quickly, he later made this into a play that was the theatrical phenomenom of the 19th Century, and after seeing the play this inspired Verdi to write the ever popular opera 'La Traviata'.

Using the real affair that Dumas had with Marie Duplessis he casts himself in this as the lover Armand. The tale is about Armand's great love for Marguerite (Marie), who he has become obsessed with. Of course their love affair will never be anything that will last as Marguerite is a coutesan and she also has consumption (nowadays known as tuberculosis, or more commonly TB). This is a quick read and is a real little page-turner that will having you wanting to finish it in one sitting. And yes there are flaws in this novel, but this is more than made up by the sheer exuberance of Dumas' writing. This translation is based on the 1852 edition which is the most commonly available in France.

If you want a great little read then get this and find out why it has entertained people throughout the world, and has never been out of print. David Coward who translated this also provides a very absorbing introduction that will tell you more about Marie Duplessis, and how her notoriety made this book such a bestseller in the beginning. If you enjoy this book why not get Manon Lescaut (Oxford World's Classics), which is named a few times throughout this novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 15 Mar 2011
By heyjude
This was a book club choice (no Booker Prize winner for us!!!) and I just loved this translation by David Coward. It reads like a 19th century novel (as it should) and flows - one has a sense that Mr Coward has caught the true essence of the original. I'm also trying to read the original, glad that I've read the translation first - but I have the same sense of impending sadness and love lost even though I'm unfamiliar with some of the (french) language.
The most overwhelming sense that I was left with was that this gives us a true insight into the life of a courtesan in Paris of the 1840s. How hard, and short, life was for some women, very young women, indeed - I believe that when this edition was published Dumas (fils) wanted the public to have a sense of pity for these women who were kept, lavishly in some cases, by various men at the same time.
Apparently, though, the role model for the heroine did indeed have quite a genteel attitude and was beautiful in spite of having been earning her living in the 'flesh' trade from a young age.
Although I'm not into opera many readers will undoubtedly know that this story forms the basis for La Traviata.
A short, easy read in the form of what appears to be a superb translation. The footnotes and preface also make good reading!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, but makes a big impact 6 Sep 2011
The introduction that came with this edition stated that La Dame aux Camélias was not a good book; however this begs the question of why is it still in print? If it was written by Dumas père it might be tempting to say it was just the author's name that kept it imprint. The answer I think lies in the power of the love story itself. That is how the feelings the two lovers have for each other are manifest. Both lovers are bound by their circumstances. one is unable to be faithful with their body and the other cannot trust the first because they are unable to cope with their jealousy. It is this that provides the backdrop for an unfolding love story where ideas of what it means to be faithful are played out. the introduction emphasises that other love stories such as madam Bovey and Anna Karenina are much more worthy of literary praise, but this does not mean that La Dame aux Camélias is second rate, only that the compassion is unfair. La Dame aux Camélias is a simple unfolding of events where thoughts and feelings are recounted and evaluated and a reconciliation is reached. It is not how this reconciliation is achieved by the characters that is important, it is the expression of love and what it means to be faithful that is, and in this way La Dame aux Camélias is a brilliant book as it gives hope that love can triumph over circumstances. As such I am happy to over look the criticism that La Dame aux Camélias is not literary enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars artwork 2 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought in order to frame print. Really excellent quality print that is an excellent example. Now framed really looks fabulous.
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