The heroine of "La Traviata", seen against the background of her own time and of attitudes today, is the subject of this book. Alexandre Dumas's novel and play "La Dame aux Camellias" not only provided the source for Verdi's most popular opera but also acted as an icon for the literary image of women in the first half of the 19th century. This anthology grew out of a production of "La Traviata" and includes contemporary writings by Baudelaire, Flaubert, George Sand and Victor Hugo, as well as Verdi himself, juxtapositioned with comments on the story by prominent women writers of the 1990s, from Barbara Cartland and Dr Ruth to Alessandra Comini and Christine Brueckner. Leading interpreters of the role of Violetta, including Irmgard Arnold, Josephine Barstow and Helen Field, also offer their views of this enigmatic figure.
Faber & Faber
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