George Sand

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George Sand
Amantine Lucile Dupin

Sand, George

Sand, George (sănd, Fr. zhôrzh säN), pseud. of Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin, baronne Dudevant (ämäNdēnˈ ôrôrˈ lüsēˈ düpăN, bärônˈ düdväNˈ), 1804–76, French novelist. Other variant forms of her maiden name include Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin. Born of an aristocratic father and a lower-class mother, she was reared by her austere paternal grandmother on a country estate in Berry. After entering a convent in Paris, she returned to the countryside and led an unconventional life, donning the male clothes that became a mark of her rebellion. In 1831, after eight years of a marriage of convenience with Baron Dudevant, a country squire, she went with her two children to Paris, obtaining a divorce in 1836. She wrote some 80 novels, which were widely popular in their day, supporting herself and her children chiefly by her writing. Her earlier novels were romantic; later ones often expressed her serious concern with social reform. Her liaisons—with Jules Sandeau, Musset, Chopin, and others—were open and notorious, but were only part of her life. She demanded for women the freedom in living that was a matter of course to the men of her day.

Her first novel, Rose et Blanche (1831), was in collaboration with Jules Sandeau (a shortening of his last name provided her with the pseudonym which she kept all her life), with whom she had previously written articles for the journal Figaro. Of her own novels, La Mare au diable (1846, tr. The Haunted Pool, 1890) and Les Maîtres sonneurs [the master bell-ringers] (1853) are considered masterpieces. Notable also are Indiana (1832, tr. 1881), Mauprat (1837), Consuelo (1843, tr. 1846), François le champi (1848, tr. Francis the Waif, 1889), La Petite Fadette (1849, tr. Fanchon the Cricket, 1864), and Contes d'une grand'mère (1873, tr. Tales of a Grandmother, 1930), a collection of Breton fairy tales. All these books are distinguished by a romantic love of nature as well as an extravagant moral idealism. She also wrote a number of plays. Much of her work was autobiographical, notably Histoire de ma vie (1854); Elle et lui [she and he] (1859), which concerns her life with Musset; and Un Hiver à Majorque [a winter in Majorca] (1842), about her life with Chopin.


See her Intimate Journal (1929, tr. 1929); biographies by A. Maurois (1951, tr. 1953), C. Cate (1975), R. Winegarten (1978), B. Jack (2000), and B. Eisler (2006); studies by R. Doumie (1910, repr. 1972), W. G. Atwood (1980), J. Glasgow, ed. (1986), K. J. Crecelius (1988), and B. Eisler (2003).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sand, George


(pen name of Aurore Dupin; married name Dudevant). Born July 1, 1804, in Paris; died June 8, 1876, in Nohant, Indre Department. French writer.

Sand studied at an English Catholic convent in Paris. In 1831, after separating from her husband, she published the novel Rose and Blanche in collaboration with the writer Jules Sandeau. Sand’s formation as a writer took place in the atmosphere of social upheaval brought about by the July Revolution (1830). Her first independent work, the novel Indiana, appeared in 1832 under the pen name George Sand; in this work the question of women’s rights is expanded into the broader question of human freedom. The novels Valentine (1832), Lélia (1833), and Jacques (1834), permeated with rebellious individualism, placed Sand firmly in the ranks of the democratic romantics.

In the mid-1830’s, Sand was drawn to the ideas of the Saint-Simonists, the Christian socialism of P. Leroux, and the views of the left-wing republicans. The protagonists of her works from this period are confronted with the ideals of the Utopian socialists. Her novel Mauprat (1837) condemns romantic rebellion, and Horace (1841–42) debunks individualism. Sand found positive heroes among the common people, for example among such workers as the joiner Pierre Huguenin (The Journeyman Joiner, 1840), the miller Louis (The Miller of Angibault, 1845), and the carpenter Jean Jappeloup (The Sin of Monsieur Antoine, 1845). Sand’s best novel, Consuelo (1842–43), which sensitively depicts the Hussite revolutionary movement, is permeated with faith in the creative potential of the common man, the fervor of the national liberation struggle, and the desire for an art that serves the people.

The 1840’s were the period of Sand’s greatest literary and civic activity. She took part in the publication of a number of utopian-socialist, anticlerical, and left-wing republican journals and newspapers. She also actively supported various worker poets and publicized their writing in Intimate Dialogues on Proletarian Poetry (1842). In her novels of the 1840’s, Sand drew a series of sharply negative portraits of bourgeois accumulators, including Bricolin in The Miller of Angibault and Cardonnet in The Sin of Monsieur Antoine. On the other hand, Sand idealized patriarchal, rural mores in such idyllic novels as The Devil’s Pool (1846), François the Waif (1847–48), and Little Fadette (1848–49).

Sand actively supported the February Revolution of 1848; she was close to the circles of radical left-wing republicans, such as A. Barbès, and edited the Bulletins de la république. The events of June 1848 shattered her Utopian illusions. She abandoned social activism and returned to writing novels in the spirit of her earlier romantic works. Typical of this new direction were The Snowman (1858) and Jean de la Roche (1859). This period also saw the publication of Sand’s multivolume Story of My Life (1854–55).

Sand first became popular in Russia in the 1840’s. She was greatly admired by I. S. Turgenev, N. A. Nekrasov, F. M. Dos-toevsky, V. G. Belinskii, N. G. Chernyshevskii, and A. I. Her-zen, all of whom viewed her as an ally in the struggle for the liberation of mankind.


Oeuvres, new ed., vols, 1–16. Paris, 1848–49.
Oeuvres choisies. Paris, 1937.
Correspondance, vols. 1–10. Paris [1964–73].
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–18. St. Petersburg, 1896–99.
Izbr. soch., vols. 1–2, Moscow, 1950.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–9. Leningrad, 1971–74.


Belinskii, V. G. Poln. sobr. soch., vols. 1–13. Moscow, 1959. (See index.)
Karenin, V. Zhorzh Sand, ee zhizn’ i proizvedeniia, vols. 1–2. St. Petersburg-Petrograd, 1899–1916.
Skaftymov, A. “Chernyshevskii i Zhorzh Sand.” In his Stat’i o russkoi literature. [Saratov, 1958.]
Maurois, A. Zhorzh Sand, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Reizov, B. “Zhorzh Sand i krest’iansko-plebeiskaia revoliutsiia v Chekhii.” In his Iz istorii evropeiskikh literatur. [Leningrad] 1970.
Larnac, J. G. Sand révolutionnaire. Paris [1948].
Blanc, A. Notre amie G. Sand. Paris, 1950.
Europe, 1954, no. 102–103. (Special issue.)
Thomas, G. G. Sand. Paris [1959].
Salomon, P. G. Sand. Paris [1962].
Edwards, S. G. Sand. New York [1972].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.