George Sand


George Sand : biography

01 July 1804 – 08 June 1876

Aurore understood that a single woman without protection doomed to face many problems. She got ill because of nervous exhaustion, Sophie-Victoria left her daughter for a while. In 1822 Aurore visited a family of her father’s friend and with their help she met Casimir Dudevant who was a son of baron Dudevant born out of wedlock. She was lonely and at once fell in love with him, considered him to be an embodiment of courage. Casimir proposed marriage to her not through relatives, as it was accepted at that time, but personally and it conquered her heart. She was sure that Casimir wasn’t interested in her dowry because he was a single heir of his father and her wife.

In spite of mother’s hesitations, in September of 1822 Aurore and Dudevant got married and went to Nohant. Dudevant became a caretaker of Nohant and they became usual landowners. On the 30th of June in 1823 Aurore gave birth to a child Maurice. Her husband wasn’t interested in books and music, he hunted and was interested in politics, he often organized feast with other landowners. Aurore soon was in depression, but it irritated her husband who didn’t understand the reason of her mood. But for a romantic Aurore who had always dreamt of “Rousseau’s love”, the physiological side of marriage was a shock. But she remained attachment to Casimir, who was an honest person and a good father. She managed to return peace of mind by communicating with her advisors in a catholic monastery where she moved with her son. But Maurice got ill, and she returned home.

Aurore felt ill, but her husband thought that all her illnesses were imaginative. They started to quarrel more often.

In 1825 the Dudevants went to Pyrenees, where Aurore met a friend of Bordeaux court’s prosecutor. Their relationships were platonic, Aurore was happy, but she reproached herself of the change in her attitude to the husband. She wrote to her husband that the reason of her deed was lack of response to her feelings, that he had changed her life for him, but he didn’t appreciate this. When Aurore returned in Nohant, she continued to correspond with her lover. Then she met again her youth love, which continued again. On the 13th of September in 1828 Aurore gave birth to a daughter Solange. Soon Dudevant and Aurore practically broke up. Casimir began to drink and had affairs with a Nohant’s servant.

Aurore felt that it was time to change something: her new lover Jules Sandeau went to Paris and she wanted to follow him. She left the farmstead to her husband and said him that she would live half a year in Paris and half a year in Nohant.

Literary work

On the 4th of January in 1831 Aurore arrived in Paris. She wore male clothes because it was cheaper and it allowed her to attend theatres: she could afford only the stalls, but women were not allowed there.

Firstly aurora wrote with Sandeau: the novel “Rose et Blanche” was a success but was signed by Sandeau, because Casimir Dudevant’s stepmother didn’t want to see her surname on this novel Aurore used her recollections about life in a monastery, notes about traveloing to Pyrenees, stories of her mother. Then Aurore started her own work by herself, the novel “Indiana” tells about opposition of a woman who was seeking for an ideal love and a sensual and vainglorious man. Sandeau approved this novel, but refused to sign under somebody else’s text. Aurore chose male pseudonym: it was a symbol of deliverance from slave situation of a woman in contemporary society. She remained Sand’s surname and added a name George.

Latouche thought that Aurore copied Balzac’s style in “Indiana”, but when he read the novel more attentively, he changed his mind. The success of this book allowed her to conclude a contract with “Revue des Deux Mondes” and have financial independence. At that time she had a friendship with a famous actress Marie Dorval. In 1833 a novel “Lelia” was published – it was scandalous.

George Sand and Alfred de Musset

When Sand was about to be introduced to Musset she refused because she thought that they were very different people to understand each other. But when she met him by accident, she changed her mind. They started to correspond, and soon Musset moved to Sand’s apartment. She was sure that she would be happy that time. But when they were travelling around Europe together, they started to quarrel – Musset had nervous and changeable character. He reproached her of coolness: every day in spite of everything she wrote for eight hours. In Venice she said her that he had been mistaken and didn’t love her. In March of 1834 Musset left Venice, but Sand stayed there for five months – she was working on novels. They both regretted about rupture and continued to correspond. When Sand returned in Paris they resumed their relationship. But some time later after several conflicts, jealousy scenes she left Musset.