(Armandine Aurore Lucille Dupin)
Sand was one of the most successful female authors in France in the 19th century. She was born in Paris on July 1, 1804. When Sand was a young child she had many tutors. She studied nature, practiced medicine on the peasants, and learned philosophy from all ages. One of her more eccentric tutors encouraged her to wear men's clothing while horseback riding and she galloped through the towns in trousers and a loose shirt. Despite how controversial this act was for her time period, Sand loved the freedom that she experienced during those times, and continued riding in that fashion. She spent the rest of her life and career srtriving to find that feedom.
When she turned 19, Sand married Casimir Dudevant. He was a good man, but was very sensual and passionate. Sand felt smothered in his ideal perception of love and began to search for her own superlative type of love in other places. She attempted to have a platonic relationship with Aurelien de Seze, but eventually their affair faded because Sand began to realize that it was impossible to sustain love without a physical relationship.
When Sand was 27 she left her husband and children and moved to Paris in order to rediscover her independence and find love. In order to earn a living she began writing articles, a career through which she was able to meet a plethora of male writers. One of these authors was Jules Sandeau, who she fell in love with. When they collaborated on articles they signed their name as "J. Sand." When her first novel Indiana was published (1832), she took as her pen name "George Sand."
Sand moved in with Jules Sandeau and her daughter, Solange, and for a while they lived together happily. It did not take long, however, for Sand to grow tired of of Jules' possessive nature. And it took Jules just as long to become annoyed with Sand's frigidity. This unsuccessful relationship made Sand feel as though she had failed in marriage as well as infidelity. As part of her healing process, Sand produced many novels about disenchanted love. Soon after, Sand met a poet named Alfred de Musset, and they became lovers.
After a while, Sand legally separated form her husband, and won custody of her daughter, leaving her son to her husband. She enjoyed the freedom that she had in Paris, and took pleasure in her life as a writer and a bold and enchanting woman. She had many admirers and lovers, including the Polish composer Frederic Chopin and the doctor who attended Musset in Venice. It is believed that the reason for Sand's promiscuity was the inability of her lovers to satisfy her. She made up for this paucity with her ability to feel deep and intense love.
George Sand was a democrat. She believed in the views of Jean Jacques Rousseau, that inherently good men are corrupted by civilization and flawed institutions. She felt that peasants deserved respect for their virtues, and she believed in socially conscious religion.
Although she was a feminist at heart, Sand never advocated political equality for women. She only demanded equality in relationships. She felt that men and women should be free to choose their lovers and to equally express their love.
When she became older, Sand took pleasure in a life of celibacy. She kept herself in high sprits by surrounding herself with friends, staging puppet shows, and devoting herself to her grandchildren. Though she did not loose any of her vigor or zest in life, she grew less concerned with politics. She gave up on her search for the ideal love of a man, and instead found a more permanent and collective love, in nature, god, and children. She died on June 9, 1876.
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George Sand: An independent woman.