An illuminating biography of one of the most enigmatic figures in French literature
'George Sand' (Aurore Dupin, 1804-1876) was France's bestselling writer, rivalled in her time only by Victor Hugo. She was at the centre of French intellectual and artistic life: her circle included Liszt and Delacroiz, Blazac and Flaubert. Yet she was known as much for her excessive life as for her plays, stories and enduring novels likeIndiana, Lelia and Mauprat.
The daughter of a prostitute and an aristocrat, Sand grew up acutely aware of social injustice and prejudice. Convent-educated, she became a mischievous, flamboyant rebel: her long, troubled romance with Chopin was just one of many affairs with well-known figures, but her most desperate love was for a beautiful actress.
“Jack's narrative of Sand's helter-skelter life - one so packed with love affairs and work and friendships and quarrels and travel that she seemed almost literally never to sleep - is swift, lucid and emotionally engaging...in looking behind the amazing spectacle at the vexed events and complex ideas that created it, Belinda Jack has written an illuminating and engaging book”
Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Sunday Times
“Belinda Jack's excellent biography sets this life out against the back-drop of empire, republic, commune...She has made a fine use of rich material”
“She (Jack) is admirably familiar with the full extent of Sand's prolific output which enables her to feast on rich anecdotes and indulge us with pithy dictums...You are holly convinced that George Sand was a phenomenon”
“This is clever stuff, brilliantly in key with late 20th century preoccupations. Here is a book for grownups”
Robert Nye, The Scotsman
“It is Jack's particular triumph to show that George Sand was always more than the sexy rebel of popular imagining”
Kathryn Hughes, Literary Review
“Belinda Jack's sympathetic rereading and spirited defence of George Sand's fiction sends one straight back to those ignored novels”
Times Literary Supplement