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La Dame aux Camélias (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 6 Jan 2000
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"An excellent translation."--Franklin I. Triplett, Muskingum College
Top customer reviews
I just wish that Marguerite and Armand had ignored Duval Senior's pious pontificating, and carried on their idyllic rural life together. Would characters in real life really have behaved like they did?
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!!!
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.