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La Dame aux Camélias

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  33,879 ratings  ·  2,053 reviews
One of the greatest love stories of all time, this novel has fascinated generations of readers. Dumas's subtle and moving portrait of a woman in love is based on his own love affair with one of the most desirable courtesans in Paris.
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 215 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press (first published 1848)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
La Dame aux camélias = The Lady of the Camellias, Alexandre Dumas (Son)

The Lady with the Camellias, is a novel by Alexandre Dumas (Son), first published in 1848, and subsequently adapted by Dumas for the stage. Written by Alexandre Dumas (Son) (1824–1895) when he was 23 years old, and first published in 1848.

The Lady of the Camellias is a semi-autobiographical novel based on the author's brief love affair with a courtesan, Marie Duplessis. Set in mid-19th-century France, the novel tells the tra
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
What happens to the pretty girl who trades off her looks for money when she is past her sell-by date? Then she has to hope the man who always loved her will stump up the cash she needs so badly despite her constant rejection when she was at the top of the game and judged him too poor to supply her with the luxuries she felt entitled to.

And hope he doesn't mind that she says she loves him only now she's desperate. Nor mind the sickness that has ravaged her body and destroyed her beauty, putting
Sep 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
"Once I had a little dog who used to look at me with sad eyes when I coughed: he was the only living creature I have ever loved."

Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I never thought I would love a book with a theme like that so much.But I did.Such a beautiful,heart-breaking love story.Truly sad and realistic.I found the writing style truly mesmerizing, not at all austere on the contrary very easy to read.The way the story is built,in rewind, made me incredibly curious to find out more about this story.The scene in the cemetery where Armando sees the corpse of Margarita is one of the most powerful ones in literature.Pretty amazing and horrifying.The character ...more
Simona B
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1800, in-italian
“When she had gone, I was frightened at the solitude in which she left me.”
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
I wish people could still express themselves the way they do in the classics.
After I got a few chapters in, I really couldn't put this book down, which is unusual for me, for the genre. The story is such a train wreck of emotion and life that that must be why it pulls the heartstrings of so many people. It is all so raw.
I liked the author's choice to make it a story told by Armond after the fact, so he was remembering it exactly, but could see it all in a big picture view, the beginning, and w
"One of the greatest love stories of all time..."

It's not a love story. It's the romanticized story of a very dysfunctional and disturbing relationship between unstable Marguerite and deeply idiotic and vicious Armand.

Armand is by far one of the most infuriating narrators I've ever had the misfortune to read about. He never loves Marguerite : throughout the book, he's obsessed with the idea of owning her, which is completely different. He "falls in love" with her seconds after seeing her for th
Oct 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anne by: Catching Up on Classics
3.5 stars for the audio version.

10/12/20. Update: After discussing this novel with others in book club I want to add here that everyone found the book to be melodramatic and I was the only one to listen to the book. So, perhaps the narrator did not add extra melodrama.

The Lady of the Camelias is a French romantic tragedy published in 1848 by Alexandre Dumas, fils, the 23 year old son of Alexandre Dumas. This is a story very much of it’s time, raising the issue of the narrow choices available to
The oxford world's classics edition of this novel said in the opening introduction that 'this has never been a novel for which persons of taste and discernment have been able to confess outright enthusiasm.'

As much I dislike oxford for that very pretentious and frank statement; I can't fully disagree.

Now, I'm definitely not a person of good 'taste' and 'discernment' or whatever that may mean. All I know is that when I read stuff like this: "Am I not your slave, your dog? Do with me what you wil
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, owned, classic
La Dame aux Camélias is a beautiful novel about the tragic character of Marguerite, inspired by women that Alexandre Dumas fils knew in real life and his own tragedy of losing his mother very young. He was an illegitimate child of Marie-Laure-Catherine Labay and novelist Alexandre Dumas. His father took him very young from his mother because the law allowed that, which inspired him to write about tragic female characters.

Marguerite is a tragic, vulnerable and heroic character we follow through h
Michael Finocchiaro
Alexandre Dumas' son Dumas "fils" (fils means "son" in French) certainly had a lot of live up to. His father of course threw a long shadow over him and his life. He did manage to write this short romantic tragedy that has survived to become a French classic and inspiration for both films and operas alike - The Lady of the Camelias. It is a fast-moving and wonderful story and definitely differentiates his more agitated, youthful style from the more mature and controlled one of his father. Definit ...more
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This is the tragic story of the life of a courtesan, Marguerite Gautier (dubbed Camille or Lady of the Camellias for her always carrying a bouquet of the flowers), who, by willing sacrifice that could never have rewarded her in kind, proved her purity of love. It is also a lamentable apologetic story told by Armand Duval, the man who sworn love for her but judged her too harshly, too unwisely, and painfully abandoned her.

In the opening of the story, the narrator chances upon the auction
Plain and short. This book is referred to as a love story. For me there was no romance, no passion, no love. It's a book about a woman of ill repute who used men to her advantage, monetarily and for social standing.

I very much enjoyed Alexandre Dumas fils's writing and that's why I'm rating it four stars.
Shirin Tondkar
Only a few words to express how I loved Madam Camellia. My favorite classic book. I read this book about 12 years ago and for ages always recommended it to everyone. It was a beautiful story about the tragic love between a prostitute and a young man. I’m not very fond of classic books right now, but I still love it so (as Jane Eyre and Rebecca).
Roman Clodia
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do you suppose the kept women in Paris could live in the style they do, if they had not three or four lovers at once?

It's very easy to see how this book translates so perfectly into opera (La Traviata) as every emotion is heightened: lovers weep, obsess, throw dramatic hissy fits, swoon and, ultimately, die beautifully.

Along the way, though, Dumas fils anchors all the emotion through the dispassionate accounts of the economics of a courtesan: we learn precisely how much Marguerite need

Description: The story of Marguerite Gauthier, a Parisian courtesan who goes on a journey through worldliness, love, renunciation and atonement, thanks to the love of young Armand Duval.

1: Armand is distraught to return to Paris too late to see Marguerite, the love of his life, before she dies.

2: Armand remembers his first meeting with Marguerite and the beginning of their passionate love affair.

3: Armand is unable to stand his mistress Marguerite being wi
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
I love Camille and I can't recommend it enough. It's become one of my favorite books. I had seen the Greta Garbo movie version of Camille and I can honestly say that the novel is more heartbreaking. Alexandre Dumas fils's writing was excellent and his tale of thwarted love is timeless.

Camille is set in 1840s Paris. A young courtesan, Marguerite Gautier, has died and although she was once the most sought-after courtesan in Paris she died of consumption without any of her rich friends or benefact
Maritina Mela

The lady with camellias is the classic tale of a prostitute who falls in love and decides to leave her past behind, in order to be with the only man she loves for real, even though everything seems to be against that love story.
Written by Alexandre Dumas fils during the 19th century, it is said that this has some autobiographical elements in it. And boy, if that's actually the case, I do feel sorry for the author and the woman he fell in love with.

To be honest, I kinda expected to enjoy thi
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: november-2017
What a book!. Truly I enjoyed every single part. It's a timeless classic you should read. I knew the story I saw Moulin Rouge! countless times but yet it was so different. It's funny at the beginning I thought I will love Armand more and I judged her since she was...well you know what she was but more book progress I more disliked Armand and started not only to love her but to admire her. Marguerite is strong and independent twice stronger character than Armand. Overall beautiful writing style s ...more
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, adult
I really liked the way this story was written, through memories and letters, it really gave it a specific atmosphere. I thought it was a very sad but poetic story. (3.5)
I voted for the book by mistake (and therefore had to read it) but it wasn't a disappointment, it made me think of few matters and that's a quality in books that I look for.
*One of the things were the double standards that society so proudly held. Courtesans were criticized for their lifestyle (and I don't mind that) but on the other hand it was common thing (and often welcomed) for a man to take a lover. Armand's father said exactly that when he traveled to Paris to confront his son. On a publ
Nhi Nguyễn
A really really great book about a beautiful but fleeting love story. It has the sentiment (but not to soppy-sappy like other romance novels I've read) that I always love to see in a romance novel, but still, the rational thinking of some characters in it served as a great balance for that sentiment.

The chemistry between the two main characters was there, but what I loved the most, and thought to be the most important point this novel has brought to romance genre, is that it didn't portray love
Adelina Traicu
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"La dame aux camelias" is a tropical classic by Alexandre Dumas fils that gets deeper into the lives and fates of courtesans in France during 19th century. Many details about it made me sick,and i had to get rest from it a few times, but the love-story of the main-leads made me go on,and Dumas smart way of writing it. I had seen the film adaption "Camille" from 1936 starring Greta and Robert which i very much came to love,so much that i decided to read the book also.

I have never before read anyt
Were this book not written from the perspective of Armand, I think I would have liked it a great deal more, but as it stands, I find him a dull narrator. There are countless instances where he drills into the reader how childlike and spoiled Marguerite is and I just to kick him because he's the idiot who can barely make heads or tales of his surroundings or the actions others take to protect him. (view spoiler)

All in
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very melancholy and dramatic. I loved the angsty feel to it and the writing style.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, classics, romance, 2016
Excuse me, my heart's gotten heavy now.

Marguerite Gautier and Armand Duval: two lovers in nineteenth-century Paris. A beautifully spun tale of woe. One of the countless tragedies where the ones involved succumb to the circumstances of the times in which they live. However loosely based/inspired by Dumas' real-life lover, the courtesan Marie Duplessis.

I can certainly believe that Dumas wrote this in less than a month [! according to the introduction in this particular edition], because it really
The narrator buys a courtesan's old book at a whim. Some time later, the man who gave her the book comes looking for it, and shares with the narrator their tale of love and sorrow. They had but a few short months together before her debts and his family's need to maintain their reputation came between them. I hadn't realized how closely the movie Moulin Rouge was based on this--the broad outline and many of the visual details (like the courtesan visiting her true love one last time, pale and wax ...more
Apr 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised how engaging this novel was. Having seen the 1930’s movie based on this book with Marlene Dietrich (Maguerite) and a very youthful Robert Taylor (Armand) not to mention familiarity with Verdi’s La Traviata which was also based on this book I thought I knew what was between these covers. Not so. Some of it was a bit over the top (It is French after all) but most of it was believable and emotionally honest. The hardest thing was to leave my preconceptions from the movie and opera b ...more
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I can do no better than quote from the book, which made me cry--and which also compelled me to visit Bougival.
"Everything was believed except the truth."
"Why do we hold obstinately to the opinions of the world, which hardens itself in order that it might be thought strong."
"Sorrow sharpens the sensations."
"It is very fortunate that the imagination lends so much poetry to the senses, and that the desires of the body make so much concession to the dreams of the soul."
"To be really loved by a court
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Alexandre Dumas (son) was born in Paris, France, the illegitimate child of Marie-Laure-Catherine Labay (1794-1868), a dressmaker, and novelist Alexandre Dumas. During 1831 his father legally recognized him and ensured that the young Dumas received the best education possible at the Institution Goubaux and the Collège Bourbon. At that time, the law allowed the elder Dumas to take the child away fro ...more

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