Biography of George Sand

Controversial and Popular Writer

Portrait of George Sand
DEA / A. DAGLI ORTI / Getty Images

George Sand (born Armandine Aurore Lucille Dupin, July 1, 1804 — June 9, 1876) was a controversial yet popular writer and novelist of her time. Considered a Romantic idealist writer, she was read among the artists and intelligentsia.

Early Life

Called Aurore as a child, she was left in the care of her grandmother and mother when her father died. Seeking to escape conflict with her grandmother and mother, she entered a convent at 14, and later joined her grandmother in Nohant. A tutor encouraged her to wear men's clothing.

She inherited her grandmother's estate, and then married Casimir-François Dudevant in 1822. They had two daughters together. They separated in 1831, and she moved to Paris, leaving the children with their father.

Jules Sandeau and First Written Works

She became the lover of Jules Sandeau, with whom she wrote some articles under the name "J. Sand." Her daughter Solange came to live with them, while her son Maurice continued to live with his father.

She published her first novel, Indiana, in 1832, with a theme of women's limited choices in love and marriage. She adopted the pseudonym George Sand for her own writing.

After separating from Sandeau, George Sand legally separated from Dudevant in 1835, and won custody of Solange. George Sand had a notorious and conflict-ridden relationship with the writer Alfred de Musset, from 1833 to 1835.

George Sand and Chopin

In 1838, she began an affair with the composer Chopin which lasted until 1847. She had other lovers, though was notoriously unable to be physically satisfied in any of her affairs.

In 1848, at the time of the uprising, she moved to back to Nohant, where she continued writing until her death in 1876.

George Sand was notorious not only for her free love affairs, but also for public smoking and for dressing in men's clothing.

Family Background

  • Father: Maurice Dupin (died in his daughter's childhood)
  • Mother: Sophie-Victoire Delaborde
  • Grandmother: Marie Aurore de Saxe, Madame Dupin de Franceuil

Education

  • Convent of the Dames Augustines Anglaises, Paris, 1818-1820

Marriage and Children

  • Husband: Baron Casimir-Francois Dudevant (married 1822, separated legally 1835)
  • Children: Maurice (1823-1889), Solange (1828-1899)

Notable Writings

  • Indiana (1832)
  • c (1832)
  • Lelia (1833)
  • Jacques (1834)
  • Andre (1835)
  • Mauprat (1837)
  • Spiridion (1838)
  • Les sept cordes de la lyre (1840)
  • Horace (1841)
  • Consuelo (1842-43)
  • La Mare au diable (1846)
  • Francois le champi (1847-48)
  • La petite Fadette (1849)
  • Les Maitres sonneurs (1853)
  • Histoirede ma vie (1855)
  • Elle et lui (1859)

Print Bibliography

  • The Story of My Life: The Autobiography of George Sand
  • Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence of Gustave Flaubert and George Sand
  • Horace
  • Indiana
  • Lelia
  • Marianne
  • Viaje a Traves del Cristal
  • Valentine
  • A Woman's Version of the Faust Legend: The Seven Strings of the Lyre.
  • George Sand: Collected Essays. 1986.
  • Barry, Joseph. Infamous Woman: The Life of George Sand. 1977.
  • Cates, Curtis. George Sand: A Biography. 1975.
  • Datlof, Natalie. The World of George Sand.
  • Dickinson, Donna. George Sand: A Brave Man, the Most Womanly Woman. 1988.
  • Eidelman, Dawn D. George Sand and the 19th-Century Russian Love-Triange Novels. 1994.
  • Ferra, Bartolome. Chopin and George Sand in Majorca. 1974.
  • Gerson, Noel B. George Sand: A Biography of the First Modern Liberated Woman. 1973.
  • Godwin-Jones, Robert. Romantic Vision: The Novels of George Sand.
  • Jack, Belinda. George Sand: A Woman's Life. 2001.
  • Jordan, Ruth. George Sand: A Biographical Portrait. 1976.
  • Naginski, Isabelle Hoog. George Sand: Writing for Her Life. 1991.
  • Powell, David. George Sand. 1990.
  • Schor, Naomi. George Sand and Idealism. 1993.
  • Winegarten, Renße. The Double Life of George Sand: Woman and Writer. 1978.