George Sand, some aspects of her life and writings eBook

René Doumic
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 204 pages of information about George Sand, some aspects of her life and writings.
pastime, churches were being pillaged and an archbishop’s palace had been sackaged.  Literature was also attempting an insurrection, by way of diversion.  For a long time it had been feeding the revolutionary ferment which it had received from romanticism.  Romanticism had demanded the freedom of the individual, and the writers at the head of this movement were Chateaubriand, Victor Hugo and Dumas.  They claimed this freedom for Rene, for Hermann and for Antony, who were men.  An example had been given, and women meant to take advantage of it.  Women now began their revolution.

Under all these influences, and in the particular atmosphere now created, the matrimonial mishap of Baronne Dudevant appeared to her of considerable importance.  She exaggerated and magnified it until it became of social value.  Taking this private mishap as her basis, she puts into each of her heroines something of herself.  This explains the passionate tone of the whole story.  And this passion could not fail to be contagious for the women who read her stories, and who recognized in the novelist’s cause their own cause and the cause of all women.

This, then, is the novelty in George Sand’s way of presenting feminist grievances.  She had not invented these grievances.  They were already contained in Madame de Stael’s books, and I have not forgotten her.  Delphine and Corinne, though, were women of genius, and presented to us as such.  In order to be pitied by Madame de Stael, it was absolutely necessary to be a woman of genius.  For a woman to be defended by George Sand, it was only necessary that she should not love her husband, and this was a much more general thing.

George Sand had brought feminism within the reach of all women.  This is the characteristic of these novels, the eloquence of which cannot be denied.  They are novels for the vulgarization of the feminist theory.

IV

THE ROMANTIC ESCAPADE

THE VENICE ADVENTURE

George Sand did not have to wait long for success.  She won fame with her first book.  With her second one she became rich, or what she considered rich.  She tells us that she sold it for a hundred and sixty pounds!  That seemed to her the wealth of the world, and she did not hesitate to leave her attic on the Quay St. Michel for a more comfortable flat on Quay Malaquais, which de Latouche gave up to her.

There was, at that time, a personage in Paris who had begun to exercise a sort of royal tyranny over authors.  Francois Buloz had taken advantage of the intellectual effervescence of 1831 to found the Revue des Deux Mondes.  He was venturesome, energetic, original, very shrewd, though apparently rough, obliging, in spite of his surly manners.  He is still considered the typical and traditional review manager.  He certainly possessed the first quality necessary for this function.  He discovered

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George Sand, some aspects of her life and writings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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