Amalia was one of the most popular Latin American novels and, until recently, was required reading in Argentina's schools. It was written to protest the dictatorship of Juan Manuel de Rosas and to provide a picture of the political events during his regime, but the book's popularity stemmed from the love story that fuels the plot. Originally published in 1851 in serial form, Marmol recounts the story of Eduardo and Amalia, who fall in love while he is hiding in her home. Amalia and her cousin Daniel protect him from Rosist persecution, but before the couple and the cousin can escape to safety, they are discovered by the death squad and the young men die. Similar in style to the romantic novels of Walter Scott, Amalia provides a detailed picture of life under a dictatorship combined with lively dialogue, drama, and a tragic love story.