Naked in the Marketplace (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
George Sand was the most famous lady of letters in nineteenth century France. Her works include nearly ninety novels, two dozen plays, three volumes of short stories, political pamphlets, and twenty thousand letters. She was also the most infamous woman of the age, with a range of lovers almost as extensive as her bibliography. Eisler’s pleasantly readable book devotes far more attention to Sand’s relationships than to her writing, beginning with Sand’s vexed relationship with her mother.
Sophie Delaborde had risen from poverty through a variety of liaisons, culminating in marriage a month before Sand’s birth to the aristocratic French officer Maurice Dupin, though Dupin was not Sand’s biological father. Maurice died when Sand was four years old, and her mother in effect sold her to Marie-Aurore de Saxe Dupin de Franceuil, Sand’s paternal grandmother. For Eisler this maternal abandonment was a key element in Sand’s life. Eisler suggests that Sophie’s behavior toward her daughter smacks of bipolar disorder, as Sophie showered Sand alternately with affection and abuse.
Eisler shows that Sand would repeat this pattern with her own daughter, Solange. Sand indulged her son Maurice, even finding lovers for him, but she neglected and psychologically abused her daughter, going so far as to adopt a cousin, Augustine-Marie Brault, whom she installed at her estate in Nohant and to whom she gave a dowry of 30,000 francs, more than she...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
Booklist 103, no. 4 (October 15, 2006): 16.
Kirkus Reviews 74, no. 18 (September 15, 2006): 937.
Library Journal 131, no. 19 (November 15, 2006): 72.
The New York Times Book Review 156 (December 3, 2006): 34.
Publishers Weekly 253, no. 37 (September 18, 2006): 45.
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