Day 55 of Colourisation Project – July 1
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin better known by her pseudonym George Sand was born this day, July 1, in 1804 in Paris. She wrote a number of highly regarded romantic novels under this pseudonym and was the most famous if not controversial female writer in 19th century France. George Sand was a woman who shattered nineteenth century ideals of what a woman ought to be.
She had a liberal upbringing and was married at 19 years of age. Eight years later she walked away from her marriage and two children to live a Bohemian lifestyle in Paris as a writer. She was a prodigious novelist and dramatist. Her novels, plays, essays and memoirs all represented the epitome of French romantic idealism.
Her novels were well received and as prolific as she was, she was equally well known for her many admirers and her much publicized romantic liaisons with a number of celebrities of the day including Frédéric Chopin and Alfred de Musset.
In 1832 her first novel under her pseudonym, George Sand, Indiana brought her immediate fame. Semi-autobiographical, it is a fervent protest against the social conventions that bind a wife to her husband against her will. It is also an apologia for a heroine who abandons an unhappy marriage and finds love.
She had come to enjoy a great reputation (or notoriety) in Paris and was quite the icon for a lot of women of the time who were not able to free themselves from the shackles of 19th century mores. She campaigned for equality of the sexes and led by example. Ignoring propriety and boundaries, George Sand wore men’s clothing including a top hap, smoked cigars and just enjoyed her life and all the benefits that went with being a man.
Sand’s close friend, Honore Balzac, described her thus;
“She is a female bachelor. She is an artist. She is generous. She is devoted. She is chaste. Her dominant characteristics are those of a man, and therefore, she is not to be regarded as a woman. She is an excellent mother, adored by her children. Morally, she is like a lad of twenty; for in her heart of hearts, she is more than chaste–she is a prude. It is only in externals that she comports herself as a Bohemian. All her follies are titles to glory in the eyes of those whose souls are noble.”
George Sand died at Nohant on 8 June 1876, at the age of 71 and was buried in the grounds of her home there.