"He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life." -- George Sand
Amantine (also "Amandine") Aurore Lucile Dupin, later Baroness (French: baronne) Dudevant (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), best known by her pseudonym George Sand (), was a French writer. She is regarded as the first French woman writer to gain a major reputation.
"Admiration and familiarity are strangers.""Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it.""Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.""Every historian discloses a new horizon.""Faith is an excitement and an enthusiasm: it is a condition of intellectual magnificence to which we must cling as to a treasure, and not squander on our way through life in the small coin of empty words, or in exact and priggish argument.""Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.""I have no enthusiasm for nature which the slightest chill will not instantly destroy.""I see upon their noble brows the seal of the Lord, for they were born kings of the earth far more truly than those who possess it only from having bought it.""Life in common among people who love each other is the ideal of happiness.""Life resembles a novel more often than novels resemble life.""No human creature can give orders to love.""No one makes a revolution by himself; and there are some revolutions which humanity accomplishes without quite knowing how, because it is everybody who takes them in hand.""Once my heart was captured, reason was shown the door, deliberately and with a sort of frantic joy. I accepted everything, I believed everything, without struggle, without suffering, without regret, without false shame. How can one blush for what one adores?""One approaches the journey's end. But the end is a goal, not a catastrophe.""One changes from day to day, and... after a few years have passed one has completely altered.""Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius.""The artist vocation is to send light into the human heart.""The beauty that addresses itself to the eyes is only the spell of the moment; the eye of the body is not always that of the soul.""The prayers of a lover are more imperious than the menaces of the whole world.""The trade of authorship is a violent, and indestructible obsession.""There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.""Try to keep your soul young and quivering right up to old age.""Vanity is the quicksand of reason.""We cannot tear out a single page of our life, but we can throw the whole book in the fire.""Women love always: when earth slips from them, they take refuge in heaven.""Work is not man's punishment. It is his reward and his strength and his pleasure."
Sand's father, Maurice Dupin, was the grandson of the Marshal General of France, Maurice, Comte de Saxe, himself an illegitimate son of Augustus II the Strong, King of Poland and a Saxon elector, and a cousin to the sixth degree to the kings of France Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X. Sand's 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 province of Berry (See House of George Sand). She later used the setting in many of her novels. It has been said that her upbringing was quite liberal. In 1822, at the age of nineteen, she married Baron Casimir Dudevant (1795—1871), illegitimate son of Baron Jean-François Dudevant. 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 and took her children with her.
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, 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."
Other writers of the period, however, were more favorable in their assessments of Sand. Flaubert, who was by no means an indulgent or forbearing critic, held unabashed admiration for her, as did Marcel Proust. Honoré de Balzac, who knew Sand personally, once said that if someone thought George Sand wrote badly, it was because their own standards of criticism were inadequate. He also noted that her treatment of imagery in her works showed that her writing had an exceptional subtlety, having the ability to 'virtually put the image in the word'.
Sand conducted affairs of varying duration with Jules Sandeau (1831), Prosper Mérimée, Alfred de Musset (summer 1833 — March 1835), Louis-Chrystosome Michel, Pierre-François Bocage, Félicien Mallefille and Frédéric Chopin (1837—47). 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 Letters written by Sand to Dorval mentioned things like "wanting you either in your dressing room or in your bed."
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 was already ill with incipient tuberculosis (or, as has recently been suggested, cystic fibrosis) at the beginning of their relationship, and spending a winter in Majorca - where Sand and Chopin did not realize that winter was a time of rain and cold, and where they could not get proper lodgings - exacerbated his symptoms.
They split two years before his death, for a culmination of reasons. Sand's insecurities at forty probably contributed to her boredom and sexual dissatisfaction with Chopin. In Lucrezia Floriani, a novel, Sand used Chopin as a model for a sickly Eastern European prince named Karol. He's cared for by a middle-aged actress past her prime, Lucrezia, who suffers a great deal by caring for Karol. Though Sand claimed not to have made a cartoon out of Chopin, the book's publication and widespread readership may have exacerbated their apathy to each other. However, the tipping point in their relationship involved her daughter Solange. Chopin continued to be cordial to Solange after she and her husband, Auguste Clesinger, had a vicious falling out with Sand over money. Sand took Chopin's support of Solange as outright treachery, and confirmation that Chopin had always "loved" Solange. Sand's son Maurice also disliked Chopin. Maurice wanted to establish himself as the 'man of the estate,' and did not wish to have Chopin as a rival for that role. Chopin was never asked back to Nohant. In 1848, he returned to Paris from a tour of the UK and died at the Place Vendôme. Chopin was penniless at that point; his friends had to pay for his stay there, as well as his funeral at the Madeleine. The funeral was attended by over 3,000 people, including Delacroix, Liszt, Victor Hugo and other famous people. George Sand, however, was notable by her absence.
A liaison with the writer Jules Sandeau heralded her literary debut. They published a few stories in collaboration, signing them "Jules Sand." Her first published novel, Rose et Blanche (1831), was written in collaboration with Sandeau. She subsequently adopted, for her first independent novel, Indiana (1832), the pen name that made her famous — George Sand.
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. She wrote many essays and published works establishing her socialist position. Because of her early life, she sided with the poor and working class. When the 1848 Revolution began, women had no rights and Sand believed these were necessary for progress. Around this time Sand started her own newspaper which was published in a workers' co-operative. This allowed her to publish more political essays. She wrote "I cannot believe in any republic that starts a revolution by killing its own proletariat."
Her most widely used quote is "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."
George Sand died at Nohant, near Châteauroux, in France's Indre département on 8 June 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.
Frequent literary references to George Sand can be found in Possession (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. George Sand also makes an appearance in Isabel Allende's Zorro, going still by her given name, as a young girl in love with Diego de la Vega (Zorro).
A Song to Remember (1945), directed by Charles Vidor, starring Merle Oberon as George Sand and Cornel Wilde as Chopin.
Song Without End (1960), also directed by Vidor (who died during production and direction was assumed by George Cukor), in which Dirk Bogarde starred as Franz Liszt; Patricia Morison played a cameo role 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
Chopin (2002), directed by Jerzy Antczak starring Danuta Stenka as George Sand and Piotr Adamczyk as Chopin.
Gossip Girl (2008), Blair Waldorf plans to astonish the dean of Yale University by answering 'George Sand' to his question of whom she would have dinner with, dead or alive. In another episode, Blair Waldorf says "Why rip off a page of your life when you can throw the whole book into the fire? George Sand, she understands me."
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 game Eternal Sonata mentions the relationship between George Sand and Chopin.
The band Meg & Dia have a song based on Sand's novel Indiana
A song from Cole Porter's 1933 London show, "Nymph Errant" was entitled "Georgia Sand" in reference to Sand.
In Season 1 episode 2 of Boardwalk Empire Actress Kelly Macdonald Quotes Sand "Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it."