Three of her stories—La Petite Fadette, La Mare au Diable, and Les Maitres Mosaistes—are as neat in their workmanship as a Dutch painting. Her brilliant powers of analysis, the intellectual atmosphere with which she surrounds the more complex characters in her longer romances, are entirely put aside, and we are given instead a series of pictures and dialogues in what has been called the purely objective style; so pure in its objectivity and detachment that it would be hard for any one to decide from internal evidence that they were in reality her own composition.
To those who seek for proportion and form there is, without doubt, much that is unsymmetrical in her designs. Interesting she always is, but to the trained eye scenes of minor importance are, strictly speaking, too long: descriptions in musical language sometimes distract the reader from the progress of the story. But this arose from her own joy in writing: much as she valued proportion, she liked expressing her mind better, not out of conceit or self-importance, but as the birds, whom she loved so well, sing.
Good nature is what we need above all in reading George Sand. It is there—infectious enough in her own pages, and with it the courage which can come only from a heart at peace with itself. This is why neither fashion nor new nor old criticism can affect the title of George Sand among the greatest influences of the last century and the present one. Much that she has said still seems untried and unexpected. Writers so opposite as Ibsen and Anatole France have expanded her themes. She is quoted unconsciously to-day by hundreds who are ignorant of their real source of inspiration. No woman ever wrote with such force before, and no woman since has even approached her supreme accomplishments.
Pearl Mary-Teresa craigie.