The House — George Sand

Here is the third portrait of our series: George Sand who represents the blood red color of our CASA yarn.

George Sand, whose real name is Aurore Lucile Dupin, Baronne Dudevant, born in Paris on July 1, 1804, was a woman of letters. She left behind her a remarkable romantic work with more than seventy novels, accompanied by tales, short stories, theatrical plays, autobiographical texts and an immense correspondence.

Spokesman of the romantic generation, his writings are so many hymns to the passions that marked his life, a life of struggle for independence and freedom of thought. George Sand is still the subject of multiple reissues as the topicality of the questions it raises strikes readers.

She studied science and Latin in a convent and it was in 1822 that she married Baron Casimir Dudevant, with whom she had two children. A few years later the couple goes badly and ends up separating.

Asking for a legal separation from her husband, she reveals her rebellious spirit to the world and provokes the first of a long list of scandals. Thirsty for independence after this unfortunate marital episode, Aurore decides to settle in Paris with the aim of joining a society of young lovers of romantic literature.

In this Paris in full literary effervescence and at the heart of the Trois Glorieuses revolution, Aurore led a bohemian life, between theatres, museums and libraries. Very quickly noticed by her fellow writers, she gradually joined the privileged salons of the literary world.

This period is also the one when, after obtaining permission to cross-dress, she adopts the male costume that we know so well. But, contrary to popular belief, it was primarily for financial reasons and for comfort that she adopted the frock coat, the woolen tie and the felt hat.

From her first writings in 1829, she was inspired by the name of her lover, Jules Sandeau, to take the pseudonym of George Sand.

She ardently defends the right to passion of women and opposes all the oppressions of which they are victims.

Despite numerous detractors like Charles Baudelaire, George Sand actively contributed to the intellectual life of her time, welcoming to the Château de Nohant estate such different personalities as Frédéric Chopin, Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Eugène Delacroix, advising some, encouraging others. She also maintained a great friendship with Victor Hugo by correspondence, but these two great personalities never met.

His first novels, like Indiana (1832), upset social conventions and glorify the revolt of women by exposing the feelings of his contemporaries, something exceptional at the time and which divided both public opinion and the literary elite. Then George Sand opens her novels to the social question by defending the workers and the poor (Le Compagnon du Tour de France) and by imagining a society without class and without conflict (Mauprat 1837 – Le meunier d'Angibault, 1845).

She then turned to the peasant milieu and wrote optimistic rural novels largely inspired by her childhood, such as La Mare au diable (1846), La petite Fadette (1849).

George Sand approached other genres such as the historical novel with Consuelo (1843) where she paints, through the figure of an Italian singer, the European artistic landscape of the 18th century, or Les Beaux Messieurs de Bois-Doré (1858 ) which multiplies the romantic and adventurous adventures in the context of religious opposition under the reign of Louis XIII.

A prolific author, George Sand would write until her last breath. After devoting herself to the theater for some time, she began writing her autobiography, Histoire de ma vie (1854-1855). She died at the age of 72, leaving behind her a considerable and varied body of work which placed her in line with the greatest French authors of the 19th century.

Sandra & Valentine

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