George Sand

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Amantine (also "Amandine") Aurore Lucile Dupin, later Baroness (French: baronne) Dudevant (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), best known by her pseudonym George Sand (French pronunciation: [ʒɔʁʒ sɑ̃d]), was a French writer. She is regarded as the first French woman writer to gain a major reputation.[1]


Early life

Sand's father, Maurice Dupin, was the grandson of the Marshal General of France, Maurice, Comte de Saxe, himself an illegitimate son of Augustus II the Strong, King of Poland and a Saxon elector, and a cousin to the sixth degree to the kings of France Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X.[2] Sand's mother, Sophie-Victoire Delaborde, was a commoner. Sand was born in Paris but raised for much of her childhood by her grandmother, Marie Aurore de Saxe, Madame Dupin de Franceuil, at her grandmother's estate, Nohant, in the French province of Berry (See House of George Sand). She later used the setting in many of her novels. It has been said that her upbringing was quite liberal. In 1822, at the age of nineteen, she married Baron Casimir Dudevant (1795–1871), illegitimate son of Baron Jean-François Dudevant. She and Dudevant had two children: Maurice (1823–1889) and Solange (1828–1899). In early 1831, she left her prosaic husband and entered upon a four- or five-year period of "romantic rebellion." In 1835, she was legally separated from Dudevant and took her children with her.

Contemporary views

Sand's reputation came into question when she began sporting men's clothing in public — which she justified by the clothes being far sturdier and less expensive than the typical dress of a noblewoman at the time. In addition to being comfortable, Sand's male dress enabled her to circulate more freely in Paris than most of her female contemporaries, and gave her increased access to venues from which women were often barred — even women of her social standing.

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