If we are not aware of Alexandre Dumas fils by only one work, this would, of course, La dame aux Camélias , published in 1848. This novel tells the story of the life of a courtesan of the time of Louis-Philippe, Marie Duplessis, in which Giuseppe Verdi was inspired to write 4 years later his famous opera, La Traviata .
Marie Duplessis lives of its charms, which it supports by a singularity: it carries the bodice, a flower of camellia when she goes to performances of the French Theatre, and two Operas. Jules Janin, a literary critic at the journal des débats, says in his preface to the book by Alexandre Dumas that for 25 days of the month, the camellias the lady was white and red the rest of the time. Was he teaches more transparent?
There was a bill Ragonot, a florist on rue de la paix in Paris, which is a summary of supplies made to Marie Duplessis in 1843 for a tidy sum of 184 gold francs. In the 1840s, the camellia was a flower in the fashion, mainly grown for the decoration of the corsages and boutonnieres.
But did you know that there was also a Man of the Camellias? Alphonse Karr, columnist, literary, and ephemeral director of the Figaro , stands in his satirical magazine Wasps , the portrait of Charles Lautour-Mézeray, a “lion” of the time (today one would say a snob) who wore at his buttonhole, the flowers more vibrant. The camellia was her favorite, but he also tried his hand, it seems to Passion flowers. The man with the camellias made a good career in the prefectoral, of the town of Bellac in the Haute-Vienne up to Algiers. The prefect is forgotten but the camellia is still grown!