Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, July 14, 2018

George Sand by Martine Reid - 2013. Translated and introduced by Gretchen. Van Slyke - 2018

George Sand by Martine Reid 

Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea is a great event.  I Focus on literary works and nonfiction but you are invited to share your thoughts and experience on anything Paris related, from a great recipe, a favourite movie set in Paris, mine is Ninotchka, an account of your stay in Paris.  I hope lots of people join in.  Just be sure to  link you post on The event home page.

Already there are lots of very interesting posts from food bloggers, Francophiles, travel bloggers, as well as book bloggers.  Normally I don’t venture far from the international book blog community so for me this event is an excellent way to expand my horizons. 

So far I have posted on

  1. “A Yiddish Poet in Paris” by Blume Lempel, 1978
  2. Vagabond by Colette, 1904
  3. Lost Times - Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp by Józef Czafski -translated and introduced. by Eric Karpeles - 2018
  4. “Her Last Dance” by Blume Lempel - 2018
  5. Gerorge Sand by Martine Reid

July 1, 1804, Amantine Lacile Aurore Dupin was born into a Nobel family.  She was called “Aurore” by friends and family.

1822 Marries Casmir Dudevant, they have two children, seperate in 1835 and begins a series of affairs with well known men, most famously Frederic Chopin (1837 to 1847)

1831 -published the first of fifty novels

1832 - Published Indiana and begins to use the pen name George Sand under which she will be for ever famous 

George Sand by Martine Reid is a decent informative book on a writer who, i am guessing, is most now known for using her pen name, dressing as a man, smoking cigars and for her ten year affair with Frederic Chopin.

Reid details her childhood and her up formative years.  One of her grandfathers was the illegitimate son of a Polish King.  She was raised in affluence.  Reid for sure helped me understand the childhood of Sand, something many literary biographers often skip over.  

Reid goes into depth about why Aurore, Reid calls her that, assumes a male name and dressed as a man.  In part it was that women writers were assumed to be lacking in depth.  Also as Reid explains dressed as a man Aurore could go about in Paris than an unescorted woman.  We also see gender blending aspects of her psyche.

Reid devotes a good bit of space to the Chopin romance.  We learn a good bit about Chopin also.

Reid places Sand in context of 19th century French literature.  Sand had intellectual relationships with Balzac and Flaubert.  Both admired her talent but neither saw her as a peer.

Reid relies heavily on Sand’s autobiography.

I think anyone interested in 19th century literature will be glad to have this book as am I.

The kindle price (for an under three hundred page book) is $22.95.  I do  not find myself able to recommend this book to anyone but a specialist in the field at that cost unless price is not a concern.


Lisbeth said...

Thank you for the review of this fascinating woman. It is alwayminteresting to read about independent women of the past. Her life is almost like a book as well. I have read another biography by a Swedis correspondent who was posted in Paris for many years. I found that book very good, and think I have got a good idea of her life. Although this seems good as well, except the price. Quite unusal and astonishig for an ebook.

lotusgdess said...

I very much enjoyed these books:
Paris: a biography of a City by Colin Jones and The Bonjour Effect by Julie Barlow. We loved the Musee d'Orsay.One cannot truly appreciate the artistry of, for example, a painting like Starry Night from simply looking at a reproduction or print.

Mel u said...

Lisbeth. Thanks for your comment and input

Mel u said...

Lotusgdess. Thanks for these suggestions. I will investigate them.