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The Lady of the Camellias

The Lady of the Camellias

Written by Alexandre Dumas

Narrated by Laura Paton and Full Cast


The Lady of the Camellias

Written by Alexandre Dumas

Narrated by Laura Paton and Full Cast

ratings:
4/5 (25 ratings)
Length:
2 hours
Released:
Nov 1, 2005
ISBN:
9789629545239
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

The tragic but doomed love of Marguerite and Armand, recounted so passionately in La Dame aux Camélias, became one of the great love stories from its first publication in 1848. The title role of the consumptive heroine and her ultimate sacrifice inspired actresses from Sarah Bernhardt to Greta Garbo – and Giuseppe Verdi to write La Traviata. In this sound dramatisation, the story of passion and conflict is as fresh and compelling as when it was first written.
Released:
Nov 1, 2005
ISBN:
9789629545239
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Once of the most famous French writers of the nineteenth century, Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870) is best remembered for his novels The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo,and The Man in the Iron Mask. These books have sold millions of copies worldwide.

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What people think about The Lady of the Camellias

4.2
25 ratings / 12 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Melodramatic and with characters that aren’t all that likeable, but yet somehow an enjoyable read, perhaps because of the depth of the emotions, and how the book transports you to early 19th century France. Marguerite is a ‘kept woman’, one who trades her sexual favors to aristocratic old men for their money and lavish gifts. She keeps up an extravagant lifestyle while juggling suitors, which she can do without offending those involved too much as long as she maintains a sense of decorum about it. Armand is a young bourgeoisie who falls madly in love with her, and despite not having the economic means to pay her expenses, gets petty and jealous of her other men and tries to take her from it all, to the alarm of his father. The book is restrained and doesn’t give us detail for the amorous relations, and yet it’s refreshingly frank about them, both of which were good things. While it’s a completely different world that these characters inhabit, when they go through the ups and downs of their affair, we recognize emotions and actions that are timeless. It drags on a bit towards the end, but the story of sacrifice and love is touching.Quotes:On affairs, this from Marguerite:“Men, instead of being satisfied in obtaining for a long time what they scarcely hoped to obtain once, exact from their mistresses a full account of the present, the past, and even the future. As they get accustomed to her, they want to rule her, and the more one gives them the more exacting they become. If I decide now on taking a new lover, he must have three very rare qualities: he must be confiding, submissive, and discreet.”On chance:“One day a young man is passing in the street, he brushes against a woman, looks at her, turns, goes on his way. He does not know the woman, and she has pleasures, griefs, loves, in which he has no part. He does not exist for her, and perhaps, if he spoke to her, she would only laugh at him, as Marguerite had laughed at me. Weeks, months, years pass, and all at once, when they have each followed their fate along a different path the logic of chance brings them face to face. The woman becomes the man’s mistress and loves him. How? Why? Their two existences are henceforth one; they have scarcely begun to know one another when it seems as if they had known one another always, and all that had gone before is wiped out from the memory of the two lovers. It is curious, one must admit.”
  • (5/5)
    The instrumentals, the emotional voices... I can imagine myself in a theatre watching the play of the Lady of the camellias. It was honestly extremely gripping, perhaps even more emotional than staged play.
  • (3/5)
    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 waxy under her black veil) are the same. That said, Ewan McGregor's character was far less frustrating (nay, hateful!) than Armand Duval, the "hero" of this tale. But the courtesan of this tale is even more affecting than in the bombastic movie. I was helplessly crying near the end, distraught at Marguerite's courage and how little she hoped for (in vain, as it turns out).

    "...I am tired out with seeing people who always want the same thing; who pay me for it, and then think they are quit of me. If those who are going to go in for our hateful business only knew what it really was they would sooner be chambermaids. But no, vanity, the desire of having dresses and carriages and diamonds carries us away; one believes what one hears, for here, as elsewhere, there is such a thing as belief, and one uses up one's heart, one's body, one's beauty, little by little; one is feared like a beast of prey, scorned like a pariah, surrounded by people who always take more than they give; and one fine day one dies like a dog in a ditch, after having ruined others and ruined one's self."
  • (4/5)
    I adore complicated, tortured stories of difficult love affairs if they don't descend into the sacarine or trite. Dumas fils does not disappoint with this fictionalized account of his own fractured love affair. Nothing burns quit so much as the passions that pain us in our youth. Although it's going on nearly 200 years old it wears well and has been mined for inspiration for books stage and film by lesser writers since. Sniff a camellia and heave a sad sigh for lost love.
  • (5/5)
    The story is very similar to Manon Lescaut which is referenced a couple of times. But contrary to that tale, the characters are real, their behavior plausible and the story grips your emotion. The reader for this French edition does a superb job and had me crying during the final stages of the book.
  • (3/5)
    I read the Le Livre de Poche (French) 1966 edition of this book, not the one indicated. Although intended as a Catholic morality tale, it's well-written & fun to read (of course, it's tragic). Jettisoning the "save one's immortal soul" reading prompt and replacing it with socio-economic & feminist critique makes for a more illuminating reading experience. Good detailed depiction of the catch-22 circumstances of a 19th century "kept woman" and her "respectable" lover.
  • (3/5)
    I'm sorry, but Alexandre Dumas Jr. was NOT his father. If there is anything that kills a love story quicker for me are selfish, hypersensitive, and just downright whiny protagonists. Sheesh. Boring. The opera adaptation "La Traviata" is SO MUCH BETTER. Maybe because it's in Italian and you don't know exactly what's going on but it sounds better.
  • (4/5)
    I purchased this from the library book sale. I had not heard of this story and missed the author connection - his father wrote Count of Monte Christo and the Three Musketeers. This is a great story of love, redemption, jealousy, and societal judgment. The ending is not happy, but the story worth reading. I'd have loved to sit down and have a drink and coversation with Dumas.
  • (3/5)
    Written by Alexandre Dumas' son (who is also, actually, named Alexandre Dumas - don't get confused), "La Dame aux Camelias" is the story of the most sought after courtesan in Paris, and the young man who falls in love with her. This book was average - I liked the unfolding of events and the writing style, even if it got a bit too flowery for my liking at many points. I wasn't taken in at all by the romance, though. Our suffering hero Armand is a fool, and he behaves ridiculously. He goes from a sensible man to a besotted puppy after he meets Marguerite. Marguerite herself is selfish and arrogant. She is constantly changing her mind, and unabashedly expects all men to fall deeply in love with her. Both of the two seemed impulsive, weak, and dramatic.I couldn't like these characters.
  • (3/5)
    Almost a guilty pleasure. Dumas' novel is smutty and noble, trashy and sentimental, tragic and overwrought. Nineteenth century chick lit - I enjoyed it! I suspect it would make a good weepie - I need to check out La Traviata...
  • (5/5)
    Perfect to read in bed when fighting a cold. Who needs Harlequin romances when Alexdanre Dumas fils is writing.
  • (4/5)
    A quick read. While it's charming enough, it didn't leave too much of an impression on me afterwards. I read "Camille" because I heard it was the basis for Verdi's opera "La Traviata." I must say it makes a better opera. That said, if you have a free afternoon, it's enjoyable.