The Girl Who Loved Camellias: The Life and Legend of Marie Duplessis

By Julie Kavanagh

This riveting biography brilliantly explores the quick, extreme, and passionate lifetime of the rustic woman from Normandy, who at 13 fled her brute of a father to visit Paris. nearly in a single day she turned some of the most well-liked courtesans of the 1840s—the idea for Alexandre Dumas filsThe woman of the Camellias and Verdi’s La Traviata. together with her aristocratic methods, dependent outfits and signature camellias, Marie used to be continuously a topic of fascination on the opera and the side road cafés. Her demise at twenty-three from tuberculosis created such an outpouring of sympathy within the press that Charles Dickens, who used to be in Paris on the time, was once surprised. “Everything is erased within the face of an incident that's way more important,” he wrote, “the romantic demise of 1 of the glories of the demi-monde, the attractive, the recognized Marie Duplessis.”

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I retain that she was once exact of her type. ” He knew that she was once ailing, simply because Koreff had confided poignant information about her discomfort, and Marie herself couldn't were extra frank. “I shall no longer live,” she advised Liszt, an avowal that affected him significantly (he had misplaced a brother to consumption). He came across himself forming “a somber and elegiac attachment” for “Mariette,” as he referred to as her, whereas whilst being enchanted by means of her joie de vivre and infantile abandon. “[She] used to be definitely the main ideal incarnation of lady who has ever existed. ” except Koreff, whom Liszt stated because the one that helped him to understand her in a extra profound approach, his liaison with Marie used to be recognized to few. He met the younger Dumas at one in every of her soirées and could later appreciate his fictional depiction of Marie, telling Wohl that Dumas thoroughly understood her and will create her back with nice ease. Nestor Roqueplan used to be conscious of the placement, as he comprises “the illustrious pianist L. ” between Marie’s enthusiasts. the truth that Liszt used to be nonetheless alive in 1887, while Vienne’s memoir was once released, could clarify why he supplies no trace of a romance, asserting in simple terms that Liszt went two times to Marie’s salon. Very most likely, this was once a dating that Marie stored to herself, even though Liszt couldn't aid confiding his emotions to Marie d’Agoult. “I have by no means advised you ways surprisingly hooked up to this pleasant creature I grew to become in the course of my final stopover at to Paris,” he wrote. “Hers was once a really pleasant nature within which practices ordinarily held to be corrupting (and rightly so, possibly) by no means touched her soul. ” In past due January 1846 he used to be to embark at the so much exhausting journey of his lifestyles, touring for eighteen months via northern France, Austria, Romania, Hungary, Transylvania, Russia, and Turkey. After that, he deliberate to desert the live performance platform altogether and settle in Weimar, the place he were appointed director of court docket track. the present duke, Carl Alexander, emulating the Renaissance-style patronage of his grandfather, desired to reestablish the town as a haven for artists and intellectuals, and Liszt had targets of his personal for Weimar. whereas focusing on composing and undertaking, he meant to create a workshop surroundings to transform audiences to “difficult” tune. He had felt engulfed lately, not just through his impossibly difficult appearing schedules but additionally through his spiraling dissipation—what he referred to as “excitements … resulting in disgust and regret. ” Marie, too, had reached some degree of satiety. “I shan’t have the ability to carry directly to this lifestyles which I don’t understand how to not lead and which i will be able to both now not endure,” she advised Liszt, seeing him as somebody who may perhaps convey her from this vortex of her personal. “Take me, take me at any place you like,” she pleaded. “I shan’t trouble you. I sleep all day. within the night you could enable me visit the theater, and at evening you are able to do with me what you are going to. ” Weimar was once the place she desired to be, yet Liszt mentioned that there will be convinced inconveniences. What he should have concept, yet didn't say, was once that during this anachronistic little duchy, a girl with Marie’s earlier will be a humiliation to him—almost on no account got at courtroom, even perhaps kept away from through the townspeople.

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