La Dame aux Camélias (literally The Lady with the Camellias, commonly known in English as Camille) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas fils, first published in 1848 and subsequently adapted by Dumas for the stage. La Dame aux Camélias premiered at the Théâtre du Vaudeville in Paris, France on February 2, 1852. The play was an instant success, and Giuseppe Verdi immediately set about putting the story to music. His work became the 1853 opera La traviata, with the female protagonist, Marguerite Gautier, renamed Violetta Valéry.
Camille Gautier, a poor needleworker who becomes a notorious courtesan. She passes up a chance to become mistress to Count de Varville because she loves a younger man, Armand Duval, for whom she leaves the gaiety of Paris to live in the country. For her lover’s sake, she finally leaves him because her liaison is hurting his family. He believes until she is dying that she has left him because she is fickle. Her symbol is a camellia.
In the English-speaking world, La Dame aux Camélias became known as Camille and 16 versions have been performed at Broadway theatres alone. The title character is Marguerite Gautier, who is based on Marie Duplessis, the real-life lover of author Dumas, fils
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandre Dumas fils (27 July 1824 – 27 November 1895) was a French author and playwright, best known for the romantic novel La Dame aux Camélias (The Lady of the Camellias), published in 1848, which was adapted into Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La traviata (The Fallen Woman), as well as numerous stage and film productions, usually titled Camille in English-language versions.
Dumas fils (French for ‘son’) was the son of Alexandre Dumas père (‘father’), also a well-known playwright and author of classic works such as The Three Musketeers. Dumas fils was admitted to the Académie française (French Academy) in 1874 and awarded the Légion d’honneur (Legion of Honour) in 1894