I find the subject of my books in my dreams, ' said Dumas "pere," 'and my son finds his in reality. ' In 1844 Dumas "fils" began an affair with Marie Duplessis, one of the most desirable courtesans in Paris. After Marie died of consumption in 1847 at
the age of 23, Dumas turned their liaison into one of the greatest love stories of all time. Armand casts caution to the winds as he pursues his passion for Marguerite, for whom love has become her only hope, her redemption even. But there is a price
to pay. If all the world loves a lover, society calls passion to order. Resisting criticisms of sentimentality, of an almost Gothic melodrama in certain scenes, and of a view of women that is hardly modern, "La Dame aux Camelias" still has the power
to cast the spell that has fascinated generations of readers. Dumas's marvellously beautiful, intelligent, and vibrant heroine lives on in revivals of the stage version, in film and television adaptations, and in "La Traviata" Verdi's perennial popu
lar opera. For Marguerite has long since attained the status of a myth. Dumas's subtle and moving portrait of a woman in love is a timeless antidote to the cynicism of every age. In this translation David Coward has successfully combined a feeling fo
r the formal proprieties of Dumas's style with a supple and colloquial liveliness that once again prove this story irresistible.