Letter from Julia Ward Howe discussing the book Camille (La dame aux camelias), by Alexandre Dumas fils, after its publication in 1848.


  • Title: Letter, Julia Ward Howe to unknown recipient
  • Creator: Julia Ward Howe
  • Location: United States
  • Story: In this letter, Julia Ward Howe, writing to an unknown correspondent, discusses <i>Camille</i>, by Alexandre Dumas fils. Howe was celebrated as a literary figure both for her poetry and essays. As a girl she learned French, German, and Italian, becoming both a fluent reader and speaker of French. She loved literature, reading George Sand, Balzac, and Goethe as a teenager. Howe’s wide reading inspired her to become a writer herself, as she said in her autobiography: “A vision of some important literary work which I should accomplish was present with me in my early life, and had much to do with habits of study acquired by me in youth, and never wholly relinquished.”
  • Provenance: Gift of Jeanne and Robert Schramm
  • Transcript:
    I have lately looked into a book whose last words have been much quoted in foreign prints. Tue love kill her, is the last word of Dumas fils, author of La Dame aux Camelias, in the supposition case of a wife ______istatly un-faithful. M. Dumas is a writer of melodrama, but the humble life terminated by these words is probably the most serious work of his literary life. It is entitled l’homme femme, the man woman. I know not whether it is likely _____ to be so well known here as to make a discussion of its merits useful, if not necessary. It has some
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  • Type: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 7 7/8 x 5 in.

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