French author Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, better known by her penname George Sand, was born on July 1, 1804. Although she wrote novels, novellas, fairy tales, plays, an autobiography and literary criticism, Sand is best known for her penchant for wearing men’s clothes, despite her appearance in the painting, above. When she wasn’t shocking people with her clothing, she scandalized them with her tempestuous love life. Some of her lovers were the poet Alfred de Musset, composer Frédéric Chopin, actress Marie Dorval, and writer Prosper Mérimée.
Among her friends, she counted composer Franz Liszt, Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Eugène Delacroix, and Victor Hugo, in other words, all the luminaries of the Romantic era. Sand was also politically active, openly opposing Napoléon III in three newspapers that she helped launch. Her novels espoused utopias where there were no class distinctions and country-life embodied all that was good. Her voluminous correspondence and memorabilia about her life are on display at the musée de la Vie romantique in Paris.
Today’s expression, une croqueuse d’hommes (oon crockeuz dum) means “a man eater.” That’s quite often the way George Sand is portrayed, a woman who had a relentless appetite for life and lovers. Sand died at her home in Nohant on June 8, 1876.
- Federic Chopin (1810-1849) and George Sand (1804-1876) (musiqdragonfly.wordpress.com)
- Le Fils naturel (onequalitythefinest.com)
- Une Fleur bleue (onequalitythefinest.com)