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George Sand (1804-1876) - Pseudonym of Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin

 

French Romantic writer, who questioned the sexual identity and gender destinies in fiction. Outside the literary world, Sand was noted for her numerous love affairs with such prominent figures as Prosper Merimée, Alfred de Musset (1833-34), Frédéric Chopin, (1838-47), Alexandre Manceau (1849-65), and others. The painter Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) did not take Sand very seriously, but her work inspired Alexander Herzen and Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand. Widespread critical attention accompanied the publication of most of her novels, starting from Indiana (1832), a story of a naive, love-starved woman abused by her much older husband and deceived by a selfish seducer.

"We cannot tear out a single page of our life, but we can throw the whole book in the fire. " (in Mauprat, 1837)

George Sand was born Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin in Paris and brought up in the country home of her grandmother. Her father, Maurice Dupin, was a military officer; he died from a riding accident in 1808. Sand received education at Nohant, her grandmother's estate, and at Couvent des Anglaises, Paris (1817-20). In 1822 she married François Casimir Dudevant, to whom she bore one son, Maurice, and one daughter, Solange. Casimir Dudevant was the illegitimate son of baron Jean-François Dudevant. In 1821 Sand inherited Nohant after the death of her grandmother. Because of her unhappy marriage, she left her family in 1831 and returned to Paris.

In 1831 Sand started to write for Le Figaro. She contributed Revue des Deux Mondes (1832-41) and La République (1848), and was a coeditor of Revue Indépendante (1841). During these years she had acquaintance with several poets, artists, philosophers, and politicians. With her lover Jules Sandeau she wrote in a few weeks a novel, Rose et Blanche, under the pseudonym Jules Sand. The second novel Indiana (1832), published under the pseudonym G. Sand, was written by herself and gained an immediate fame. It was followed by Valentine  (1832), and Lélia (1833). While having a brief affair with the young writer Prosper Mérimée, she also had a romantic relationship with the actress Marie Dorval. A rumor began to spread that the Sand-Mérimée affair lasted only one night and was consummated on the seat of a carriage during a ride through Paris. In his novel, La Double Méprise (1833, The Double Mistake), Mérimée gave a fictionalized account of their tryst.

Upon reading Indiana the poet Alfred de Musset sent an admiring letter to Sand which marked the beginning of their passionate liaison. Musset immortalized it in The Confession of a Child of the Century (1836), in which Sand was cast as Brigitte Pierson. After breaking with him, she cut off her long hair and sent some to Musset. In Delacroix's portrait from this period her thick, dark hair, is cropped short around her oval face. Heinrich Heine said that "the features of George Sand bear rather the impress of a Greek regularity. Their form, however, is not hard, but softened by the sentimentality which is suffused over them like a veil of sorrow." He also added that she never said anything witty; she was one of the most unwitty Frenchwomen he knew.

At the age of 33 Sand started an affair with Chopin. Sand herself was not musical, but according to Liszt, she possessed taste and judgment. However, Heine joked that she sang "at best with the bravura of a beautiful grisette who has not yet breakfasted or happens not to be in good voice." Chopin did not first consider her attractive. "Something about her repels me," he confessed to his family. Their relationship ended in 1847 when Sand started to suspect that Chopin had fallen in love with her daughter, Solange. It is also possible, that behind the breakup was Sand's treatment of Solange; she had married the sculptor Auguste Clésinger in 1847 and turned against her mother with him. Chopin was on Solange's side. Delacroix's famous double portrait of Chopin and Sand was painted in 1838. A vandal slashed it in 1870, thereby creating two canvases.

Sand's early writings show the influence of the writers with whom she was associated. In the 1830s several artists responded to the call of the Comte de Saint-Simon of cure the evils of the new industrial society, among them Franz Listz and Sand who became friends, not lovers. On a personal level, Michel de Bourges, who preached revolution, was more important for her view of society. After de Bourges came Pierre Leroux, who was against property and supported the equality of women, and wanted to rehabilitate Satan.

When François Buloz refused to publish her novel in Revues des Deux Monder, Sand founded in 1840 with Pierre Leroux and Louis Viardot a new review, La Révue indépendante. From the 1840s Sand found her own voice in novels, which had roots in her childhood's peasant milieu. For the rest of her life, Sand was committed to ideal of Socialism, which his friend Flaubert rejected in their dispute. Sand's positive review of Flaubert's novel Salammbô (1862) had led to correspondence and friendship between these two very different writers, but eventually Sand's idealism and Flaubert's pessimism brought them into a collision.

After the 1848 revolution in France failed, Sand settled disappointed at Nohant. From 1864 to 1867 she lived in Palaiseau, near Versailles. Besides writing, Sand also enjoyed traveling. "Work is not man's punishment. It is his reward and his strength, his glory and his pleasure." George Sand died on June 8, 1876, in Nohant.

Sand played an important, if long underestimated, role in the evolution of the novel. Her books, although popular, awoke also controversy: the French Senate recognized its opposition to the presence of Sand's works in public libraries. Partly because of affairs with well-known celebrities, she was accused of lesbianism and nymphomania. In her mid-life autobiography, Histoire de ma viev (1854-55, Story of My Life), Sand displaced conventional distinctions separating male from female, fact from fiction, and public from private life. "Life in common among people who love each other is the ideal of happiness." In Consuelo (1843) the musically gifted heroine defies the tragic destiny depicted in Madame de Staël's Corinne (1807).

Sand's best works include her countryside novels La mare au diable (1846), in which Germain, a young widower, must choose between a rich woman and a poor girl, François le Champi (1847-48), La Petite Fadette (1849), and Les Maîtres sonneurs (1853). In Lucrezia Floriani (1846) Sand depicted her relationship with Frédéric Chopin (Prince Karol de Roswald in the book). Horace (1842) was an examination of the young generation enthused by the ideals of Romanticism. She also wrote memoirs, short stories, essays and fairy tales.  Elle et lui (1859), a triangle drama, reflected her romance with Musset, who answered with Lui et elle, in which he defended his brother. Louise Colet continued the literary battle with Lui (1860).

In 1842, the English critic George Henry Lewes said that Sand was ''the most remarkable writer of the present century.'' However, Sand's literary reputation started to decline after her death, and in the beginning of the 20th century, her work did not attract much attention. "The world will know and understand me someday," Sand once wrote to her critics. "But if that day does not arrive, it does not greatly matter. I shall have opened the way for other women."

For further reading: Family Romances: George Sand's Early Novels by Kathryn J. Crecelius (1987); George Sand: A Brave Man, the Most Womanly Woman by Donna Dickenson (1988); George Sand by David Powell (1990); Le Personnage sandien: Constantes et varitations by Anna Szabo (1991); George Sand: Writing for Her Life by Isabelle Hoog Naginski (1991); Poétiques de la parabole by Michèle Hecquet (1992); George Sand and Idealism by Naomi Schor (1993); Romantic Vision by Robert Godwin-Jones (1995); George Sand et l'écriture du roman by Jeanne Goldin (1996); De l'être en lettres by Anne McCall Saint-Saëns (1996); George Sand by Nicole Mozet (1997); George Sand by Elizabeth Harlan (2004)  - See also: Lélia ou la vie de George Sand by André Maurois (1952) - Note: Diane Kurys's film Enfants du siècle (1999), starring Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel, depicted the love affair of Alfred de Musset and George Sand.

Selected works:

  • Rose et Blanche, 1831 (with Jules Sandeau, jointly as J. Sand)
  • Indiana, 1832
    - Indiana (translators: anon. 1881; George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02; Eleanor Hochman, 1993; Sylvia Raphael, 1994)
    - film 1920, prod. Tepsi Film (Italy), dir. Umberto Fracchia, starring Diana Karenne, Bruno Emanuel Palmi
  • Valentine, 1832
    - Valentine (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • Lélia, 1834
    - Lélia (tr. Maria Espinosa, 1978)
  • Lavinia, 1833
    - Lady Blake's Love Letters (tr. Page McCarty, 1884) / Lavinia (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • La Marquise, 1834
    - The Marquise and Pauline: Two Novellas (tr. Sylvie Charron and Sue Huseman, 2000)
    - Markiisitar (suom. 1910)
  • Le Secrétaire intime, 1834
    - Lavinia (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02) / The Private Secretary (tr. Lucy M. Schwartz, 2004)
  • Lettres d'un voyageur, 1834-37
    - Letters of a Traveller (tr. Eliza A. Ashurst, 1847) / Lettres d'un voyageur (t. Sacha Rabinovich and Patricia Thomson, 1987)
  • Jacques, 1834
    - Jacques (tr.  Anna Blackwell, 1847)
  • Leone Leoni, 1835
    - Leone Leoni (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
    - film 1917, prod. Star-film (Hungary), dir. Alfréd Deésy, starring Bela Lugosi, Lilla Bársony, Róbert Fiáth, Lajor Gellért, Annie Góth, Marel Rolla, Gusztáv Turán
  • André, 1835
    - André (tr. Eliza A. Ashurst, 1847)
  • Simon, 1836
    - Simon (tr. Matilda M. Hays, in The Works of George Sand, 1847)
  • Mauprat, 1837
    - Mauprat (translators: Matilda M. Hays, in The Works of George Sand, 1847; Virginia Vaughan, 1899; Henrietta Miller, 1891; George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02; Stanley Young, 1902; Sylvia Raphael, 1997)
    - films: 1926, dir. Jean Epstein, starring Sandra Milovanoff, Maurice Schutz, Nino Constantini; 1972, TV drama, dir. Jacques Trébouta, starring Karin Petersen, Jacques Weber, Henri Nassiet
  • Les Maîtres mozaïstes, 1838
    - The Mosaic Workers (tr. Eliza A. Ashurst, in The Works of George Sand, 1847) / The Master Mosaic Makers (translators: C.C. Johnstone, 1895; Henry F. Majewski, 2005)
  • L'Uscoque, 1838
    - The Uscoque or The Corsair (tr. J. Bauer, 1876)
  • La Dernière Aldini, 1839
    - The Last Aldini (tr. Matilda M. Hayes, in The Works of George Sand, 1847; anon. 1877) / The Last of the Aldinis (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • Spiridion, 1839
    - Spiridon (tr. Eliza Ashurst, 1842)
  • Pauline, 1839
    - The Marquise and Pauline: Two Novellas (tr. Sylvie Charron and Sue Huseman, 2000)
  • Gabriel, 1839 (play)
    - George Sand’s Gabriel (translation and introduction by Gay Manifold, 1992) / Gabriel (translated by Kathleen Hart and Paul Fenouillet, 2010)
  • Les Sept Cordes de la lyre, 1840
    - A Woman's Version of the Faust Legend: The Seven Strings of Her Lyre (translated by George A. Kennedy, 1989)
  • Le Compagnon du tour de France, 1840
    - The Companion of the Tour of France (tr. Matilda M. Hays, in The Works of George Sand, 1847) / The Journeyman Joiner (tr. Francis Geo. Shaw, 1849)
  • Horace, 1842
    - Horace (tr. Zack Rogow, 1995)
  • Consuelo, 1842-43
    - Consuelo (translators: Francis G. Shaw, 1846; Fayette Robinson, 1851; Frank H. Potter, 1889; George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces, 1900-02)
    - Taiteilijattaren tarina (suom. Katri Ingman, 1967)
  • La Comtesse de Rudolstadt, 1844
    - The Countess of Rudolstadt (translators: Francis G. Shaw, 1847; Fayette Robinson, 1870; Frank H. Potter, 1891) / The Countess von Rudolstadt (translated by Gretchen van Slyke, 2008)
  • Jeanne, 1844
  • Lettres à Marcie, 1844
    - Letters to Marcie (tr. Betsy Wing, 1989)
  • Le Meunier d'Angibault, 1845
    - The Miller of Angibault (translators: Edmund R. Larkin, in The Works of George Sand, 1847; M.E. Dewey, 1891; Donna Dickenson, 1995)
  • Teverino, 1845
    - Teverino: A Romance by George Sand (tr. anon., biographical sketch by Oliver S. Leland, 1855)
  • Le Péché de M. Antoine, 1845
    - Antoine's Sin (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • La Mare au diable, 1846
    - The Devil's Pool (translators: Jane Minot Sedgwick and Ellen Sedgwick, 1894; George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02; anon., 1911; Hamish Miles, 1929; Antonia Cowan, 1966; E.H. and A.M. Blackmore and Francine Giguère, 2004; Andrew Brown, 2005) / The Hauted Marsh (tr. anonymously, 1848) / The Enchanted Lake (tr. Francis G. Shaw, 1850) / Germaine's Marriage (tr. anon. 1892) / The Haunted Pool (tr. Frank Hunter Potter, 1890)
    - 'Pikku Marie, kyläkertomus', (suom. 1889) / Hiidenlampi (suom. Edwin Hagfors, 1924; Leena Kirstinä, 1986)
    - films: 1923, dir. Pierre Caron, starring Gladys Rolland, Jean-David Évremond, Gilbert Sambon; 1972, TV play, dir. Pierre Cardinal, starring Jacques Gripel, Béatrice Romand, Julien Verdier
  • Isidora, 1846
  • Lucrezia Floriani, 1846
    - Lucrezia Floriani (tr. Julius Eker, 1985)
  • The Works of George Sand, 1847 (6 vols., ed. Matilda M. Hays and tr. Hays, Eliza A. Ashurst, Edmund R. Larkin)
  • Le Piccinino, 1847
    - The Piccinino (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • François le Champi, 1847-48
    - Francis the Waif (tr. Gustave Masson, 1889) / François the Waif (tr.  Jane Minot Sedgwick, 1894) / The Country Waif (translated by Eirene Collis, 1930)
  • La petite Fadette, 1849
    - Little Fadette (translators: anon. 1850; Jane Minot Sedgwick, 1893; Hamish Miles, 1928; Eva Figes, 1967) / Fadette (tr. James M. Lancaster, 1896) / Fanchon the Cricket (tr. anonymously, 1863; anon. 1977) / Fanchon, the Cricket; A Domestic Drama, in Five Acts (translated from the German by Aug. Waldauer, 186-)
    - Pikku Fadette (suom. P.E. Ervast, 1870; Ester Peltonen, 1904; Nora Rutanen, 1976)
    - films: 1915, dir. by James Kirkwood, starring Mary Pickford, Jack Standing, Lottie Pickford, Gertrude Norman; 1979, TV play, dir.  Lazare Iglesis, starring Françoise Dorner; 2004, TV drama, dir. Michaëla Watteaux, starring Jérémie Renier, Mélanie Bernier, Richard Bohringer
  • Le Château des Désertes, 1851
    - The Castle in the Wilderness (tr. anon. 1856)
  • Le Mariage de Victorine, 1851
  • Les Maîtres sonneurs, 1853
  • Mont-Revêche, 1853
  • La Filleule, 1853
  • Les Maîtres sonneurs, 1853
    - The Bagpipers (tr. K.P. Wormley, 1890) / The Master Pipers (tr. Rosemary Lloyd, 1994)
  • Histoire de ma vie, 1854
    - Convent Life of George Sand: From L'Histoire de Ma Vie (tr. Maria Ellery MacKaye, 1893) / My Life (tr. Dan Hofstadter, 1979)
  • Adriani, 1854
  • Un hiver à Majorque, 1855
    - A Winter in Majorca (tr. Grace Curtis, 1892) / Winter in Majorca (tr. Robert Graves, 1956)
    - Talvi Mallorcassa (suom. Liisa Nurmela, Olavi Taskinen, 1968)
    - film: Jutrzrenka, 1969, prod. prod. Estela Films, Tibidabo Films S.A., dir. Jaime Camino, starring Lucia Bosé (as George Sand), Christopher Sandford (as Chopin) and Henri Serre
  • Le Diable aux champs, 1856
  • Évenor et Leucippe, 1856
  • La Daniella, 1857
  • Les Beaux Messieurs de Bois-Doré, 1858
    - The Gallant Lords of Bois-Doré (tr. Steven Clovis, 1889) / Les Beaux Messieurs de Bois Doré (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces, 1900-02)
  • L'Homme de neige, 1858
    - The Snow Man (tr. Virginia Vaughan, 1871)
  • Elle et lui, 1859
    - He and She (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • Narcisse, 1859
  • Flavie, 1859
  • Le Marquis de Villemer, 1860
    - The Marquis of Villemer (tr. R. Keeler, 1871) / The Marquis de Villemer (tr. in Five Comedies, 2003; Jeanne Drewsen, 2007) / Marquis de Villemer (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces, 1900-02)
  • Jean de la Roche, 1860
  • Constance Verrier, 1860
  • La Ville noire, 1860
    - The Black City (tr. Tina A. Kover, 2003)
  • Valvèdre, 1861
    - Valvèdre (tr. Françoise Massardier-Kenney, 2007)
  • La Famille de Germandre, 1861
    - The Germandre Family (tr. George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • Tamaris, 1862
  • Antonia, 1862
    - Antonia (tr. Virginia Vaughan, 1870; George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • Mademoiselle La Quintinie, 1863
  • Les Dames vertes, 1863
    - The Naiad: A Ghost Story (tr. Katherine Berry di Zéréga, 1892)
    - Vihreät sisaret (suom. Felix Borg, 1920)
  • Laura: Voyage dans le cristal, 1864
    - Journey Within the Crystal (tr. Pauline Pearson-Stamps, 1992; Sue Dyson, 2004)
  • La Confession d'une jeune fille, 1865
  • Monsieur Sylvestre, 1865
    - Monsieur Sylvestre (tr. Francis George Shaw, 1870)
  • Le Dernier Amour, 1867
  • Cadio, 1868
  • Mademoiselle Merquem, 1868
    - Mademoiselle Merquem (tr. anonymously, 1868)
  • Pierre qui roule, 1870
    - A Rolling Stone (tr. Carroll Owen, 1871; George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • Malgré tout, 1870
  • Césarine Dietrich, 1871
    - Cesarine Dietrich (trans. Edward Stanwood, 1871)
  • Francia: Un bienfait n'est jamais perdu, 1872
  •  Le Beau Laurence, 1872
    - Handsome Lawrence: A Sequel to "A Rolling Stone" (tr. Carroll Owen, 1879)
  • Nanon, 1872
    - Nanon (tr. Elizabeth Wormley, 1890; George Burnham Ives, in The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02)
  • Contes d'une grand'mère, 1873
    - The Castle of Pictordu (tr. G.S. Grahame, 1883; Philippa H. Watson, 1930) / Tales of a Grandmother (tr. Margaret Bloom, 1930) / The Castle of Pictures and Other Stories: A Grandmother's Tales (tr. Holly Erskine Hirko, 1994) / Wings of Courage and The Cloud Spinner (tr. Mrs. Corkran, 1884)
  • Impressions et souvenirs, 1873
    - Impressions and Reminiscences (tr. H. K. Adams, 1877)
  • Ma sœur Jeanne, 1874
    - My Sister Jeannie (tr. S.R. Crocker, 1874)
  • Flamarande, 1875
  • Les Deux Frères, 1875
  • Marianne, 1876
    - Marianne (tr. S. Miles, 1988)
  • La Tour de Percemont, 1876
    - The Tower of Percemont (the first part tr. anonymously, 1877; the second part tr. anonymously as Marianne, 1880)
  • Œuvres complètes, 1882-83
  • The Masterpieces of George Sand, 1900-02 (20 vols., tr. George Burnham Ives)
  • Correspondance entre George Sand et Gustave Flaubert, 1904 (ed. Henri Amic)
  • Journal intime, 1926
    - The Intimate Journal of George Sand (tr. Marie Jenney Howe, 1929)
  • Correspondance, 1964-1991 (25 vols., ed. Georges Lubin)
  • Œuvres autobiographiques, 1970
  • The Intimate Journal of George Sand, 1974
  • Flaubert - George Sand. Correspondance, 1981 (ed. Alphonsen Jacobs)
    - Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence (translated by Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, 1993)
    - Rakas vanha trubaduuri: George Sandin ja Gustav Flaubertin kirjeenvaihtoa 1863-1876 (suom. Eila Kostamo, 2007)
  • Five Comedies, 2003 (includes Marquis de Villemer, Françoise, The Paving Stone, The Japanese Lily, A Good Deed Is Never Wasted; translated by E.H. and A.M. Blackmore and Francine Giguère)
  • Lettres d'une vie, 2004 (ed. Thierry Bodin)


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