George Sand

George Sand

Amandine "Aurore" Lucile Dupin, later Baroness (French:"baronne") Dudevant (July 1, 1804 – June 8, 1876), best known by her pseudonym George Sand (IPA-fr|ʒɔʁʒ sɑ̃d), was a French novelist and feminist.

Early life

Casimir Dudevant in the 1860s] Sand's father, Maurice Dupin, was the grandson of the Marshall General of France, Maurice, Comte de Saxe, as well as a distant relative of Louis XVI. Her mother, Sophie-Victoire Delaborde was a commoner. Sand was born in Paris but raised for much of her childhood by her grandmother, Marie Aurore de Saxe, Madame Dupin de Franceuil, at her grandmother's estate, Nohant, in the French region of Berry (See House of George Sand). She later used the setting in many of her novels. In 1822, at age 19, she married Baron Casimir Dudevant (1795–1871), illegitimate son of Jean-François. She and Dudevant had two children: Maurice (1823–1889) and Solange (1828–1899). In early 1831 she left her prosaic husband and entered upon a four- or five-year period of "romantic rebellion." In 1835 she was legally separated from Dudevant.

Contemporary views

Sand's reputation came into question when she began sporting men's clothing in public — which she justified by the clothes being far sturdier and less expensive than the typical dress of a noblewoman at the time. In addition to being comfortable, Sand's male dress enabled her to circulate more freely in Paris than most of her female contemporaries could, and gave her increased access to venues from which women were often barred — even women of her social standing.

Also scandalous was Sand's smoking tobacco in public; neither peerage nor gentry had yet sanctioned the free indulgence of women in such a habit, especially in public (though Franz Liszt's paramour Marie D'Agoult affected this as well, smoking large cigars). These and other behaviors were exceptional for a woman of the early and mid-19th century, when social codes—especially in the upper classes—were of the utmost importance.

As a consequence of many unorthodox aspects of her lifestyle, Sand was obliged to relinquish some of the privileges appertaining to a baroness — though, interestingly, the mores of the period did permit upper-class wives to live physically separated from their husbands, without losing face, provided the estranged couple exhibited no blatant irregularity to the outside world.

Poet Charles Baudelaire was a contemporary critic of George Sand: "She is stupid, heavy and garrulous. Her ideas on morals have the same depth of judgment and delicacy of feeling as those of janitresses and kept women.... The fact that there are men who could become enamoured of this slut is indeed a proof of the abasement of the men of this generation."cite book |last= Baudelaire |first= Charles |coauthors= Ed. Peter Quennell. Trans. Norman Cameron |title= My Heart Laid Bare |publisher= Haskell House |year= 1975 |page=184 |isbn= 0-8383-1870-3 ]


Sand conducted affairs of varying duration with Jules Sandeau (1831), Prosper Mérimée, Alfred de Musset (summer 1833 – March 1834), Louis-Chrystosome Michel, Charles Didier, Pierre-François Bocage, Félicien Mallefille and Frédéric Chopin (1837–47). [Tad Szulc, "Chopin in Paris", pp. 160, 165, 194–95.]

Later in life, she corresponded with Gustave Flaubert. Despite their obvious differences in temperament and aesthetic preference, they eventually became close friends.

She was engaged in an intimate friendship with actress Marie Dorval, which led to widespread but unconfirmed rumors of a lesbian affair. [ [ George Sand by Belinda Jack - Books - Random House ] ]

In Majorca one can still visit the (then abandoned) Carthusian monastery of Valldemossa, where she spent the winter of 1838–39 with Chopin and her children. [ [ museoin.htm ] ] This trip to Majorca was described by her in "Un Hiver à Majorque" (A Winter in Majorca), published in 1855.

Chopin left her two years before his death, because of a family disturbance wherein he supported her daughter Solange's marriage choice, which had caused Sand to disown the daughter.

Writing career

A liaison with the writer Jules Sandeau heralded her literary debut. They published a few stories in collaboration, signing them "Jules Sand." She consequently adopted, for her first independent novel, "Indiana" (1832) , the pen name that made her famous – George Sand. [Jean-Albert Bédé, "Sand, George," "Encyclopedia Americana", 1986 ed., vol. 24, p. 218.]

Her first published novel, "Rose et Blanche" (1831), was written in collaboration with Jules Sandeau. Drawing from her childhood experiences of the countryside, she wrote the rural novels "La Mare au Diable" (1846), "François le Champi" (1847–1848), "La Petite Fadette" (1849), and "Les Beaux Messieurs Bois-Doré" (1857). "A Winter in Majorca" described the period that she and Chopin spent on that island in 1838-9.

Her other novels include "Indiana" (1832), "Lélia" (1833), "Mauprat" (1837), "Le Compagnon du Tour de France" (1840), "Consuelo" (1842–1843), and "Le Meunier d'Angibault" (1845).

Further theatre pieces and autobiographical pieces include "Histoire de ma vie" (1855), "Elle et Lui" (1859) (about her affair with Musset), "Journal Intime" (posthumously published in 1926), and "Correspondence". Sand often performed her theatrical works in her small private theatre at the Nohant estate.

In addition, Sand authored literary criticism and political texts. Her most widely used quote being, "There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved."

She was known well in far reaches of the world, and her social practices, her writings and her beliefs prompted much commentary, often by other luminaries in the world of arts and letters. A few excerpts demonstrate much of what was often said about George Sand:

:"She was a thinking bosom and one who overpowered her young lovers, all Sybil — a Romantic."::V.S. Pritchett (writer)

:"What a brave man she was, and what a good woman."::Ivan Turgenev (novelist)

:"The most womanly woman."::Alfred de Musset (poet)


George Sand died at Nohant, near Châteauroux, in France's Indre "département" on June 8, 1876, at the age of 71 and was buried in the grounds of her home there. In 2004, controversial plans were suggested to move her remains to the Panthéon in Paris.


*"Voyage En Auvergne" (autobiographical sketch, 1827)
*"Compagnon Du Tour De France" (1840)
*"La Petite Fadette" (1848)
*"Château Des Désertes" (1850)
*"Histoire De Ma Vie" (autobiography up to the revolution of 1848; 1855)


*"Rose Et Blanche" (1831, with Jules Sandeau)
*"Indiana" (1832)
*"Valentine (1832)
*"Lélia" (1833)
*"Andréa" (1833)
*"Mattéa" (1833)
*"Jacques" (1833)
*"Kourroglou / Épopée Persane" (1833)
*"Leone Leoni" (1833)
*"Simon" (1835)
*"Mauprat" (1837)
*"les Maîtres Mosaïtes" (1837)
*"l'Oreo" (1838)
*"l'Uscoque" (1838)
*"Un Hiver À Majorque" (1839)
*"Pauline" (1839)
*"Horace" (1840)
*"Consuelo" (1842)
*"la Comtesse De Rudolstady" (1843, a sequel to Consuelo)
*"Jeanne" (1844)
*"Teverino" (1845)
*"Pêche de M Antoine" (1845)
*"Le Meunier D'Angibault" (1845)
*"La Petite Fadette" (1846)
*"La Mare Au Diable" (1846)
*"Lucrezia Floriani" (1846)
*"François Le Champi" (1847)
*"Les Maîtres Sonneurs" (1853)
*"La Daniella" (1857)
*"Elle Et Lui" (1859)
*"Jean De La Roche" (1859)
*"L'Homme De Neige" (1859)
*"La ville Noire" (1860)
*"Marquis De Villemer" (1860)
*"Mademoiselle La Quintinie" (1863)
*"Laura, Voyage Dans Le Cristal" (1864)
*"Le Dernier Amour" (1866, dedicated to Flaubert)


*"Gabriel" (1839)
*"François Le Champi" (1849)
*"Claudie" (1851)
*"Le Mariage De Victorine" (1851)
*"Le Pressoir" (1853, Play)
*French Adaptation of "As You Like It" (1856)
*"Le Marquis De Villemer" (1864)
*"L'Autre" (1870, with Sarah Bernhardt)

In literature

Frequent literary references to George Sand can be found in "" (1990) by A. S. Byatt. The American poet Walt Whitman cited Sand's novel "Consuelo" as a personal favorite and the sequel to this novel "La Comtesse De Rudolstady" contains at least a couple of passages that appear to have had a very direct influence on him. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), the English poet, produced two poems "To George Sand: A Desire" and "To George Sand: A Recognition". The character, Stepan Verkhovensky, in Dostoevsky's novel "The Possessed" took to translating the works of George Sand in his periodical, before the periodical was subsequently seized by the ever-cautious Russian government of the 1840s. George Sand is referenced a number of times in the play "Voyage", the first part of Tom Stoppard's "The Coast of Utopia" trilogy. And, in the first episode of the "Overture" to "Swann's Way" - the first novel in Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" sequence - a young, distraught Marcel is calmed by his mother as she reads from "François le Champi", a novel which it is explained was part of a birthday package from his grandmother which also included "La Mare au Diable," "La Petite Fadette," and "Les Maîtres Sonneurs." As with many episodes involving art in "À la recherche du temps perdu", this reminiscence includes commentary on the work.

In music, film, TV

* " A Song to Remember" (1945), directed by Charles Vidor, starring Cornel Wilde as Chopin and Merle Oberon as George Sand.
*"Notorious Woman" (1974), a 7-part BBC miniseries starring Rosemary Harris as George Sand and George Chakiris as Chopin.
* In 1976, the band Ambrosia recorded the song "Danse With Me, George (Chopin's Plea)", based on Sand and Chopin's romance. It appeared on Ambrosia's Album "Somewhere I've Never Travelled."
*"Impromptu" (1991), starring Judy Davis as George Sand and Hugh Grant as Chopin.
*"Les Enfants du siècle" (1999), starring Juliette Binoche as George Sand and Benoît Magimel as Alfred de Musset
*"" (2002), directed by Jerzy Antczak starring Danuta Stenka as George Sand and Piotr Adamczyk as Chopin.

* In 2007, Céline Dion recorded a song based on a love letter sent from George Sand to Alfred de Musset for her album "D'Elles".
* The band Meg & Dia have a song based on Sand's novel "Indiana"

ee also

*Gustave Flaubert, with whom Sand conducted an intimate correspondence.
*Musée de la Vie Romantique
*Feminist literature
* House of George Sand



*Jean-Albert Bédé, "Sand, George," "Encyclopedia Americana", 1986 ed., vol. 24, pp. 218–19.
*"Correspondence" (letters) by George Sand and her contemporaries (see "Writings by George Sand" link below — some of these letters are available in English translation); Autobiographical writings as mentioned above (several of these also available from Gutenberg website).
*Tad Szulc, "Chopin in Paris: the Life and Times of the Romantic Composer", New York, Scribner, 1998, ISBN 0-684-82458-2.
*gutenberg|no=138|name=Doumic, René - George Sand, some aspects of her life and writings
* In French:
**gutenberg|no=13038|name=Caro, Elme - George Sand
**gutenberg|no=13737|name=Roy, Albert le - George Sand et ses amis
**"Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de la Langue Française" 3ième édition

External links

* [ Works by George Sand] at Internet Archive
* [ Lithograph]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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