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GEORGE SAND

GEORGE SAND

George Sand, the pseudonym of Aurore Lucile Dupin, was born in Paris in 1804. In November 1838 she travelled to Mallorca with her children and the musician Frédéric Chopin, on the boat El Mallorquín. They were undoubtedly the most famous couple in Paris during that period. First, they stayed in Son Vent (Establiments) and afterwards in the Charterhouse of Valldemossa, until February 1839. They were enchanted by the landscape and living in a vast and empty Charterhouse with one cemetery, inspired their romantic fantasy.

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“Everything a painter or poet could ever dream of has been created by nature in this place” (George Sand).

The downside was that the cold and moist microclimate of Valldemossa, was very harmful for  Chopin´s illness. Tuberculosis, the backward attitude of Mallorcan society, the fact that the couple did not attend church, and lived in a sacred place without being married, the rumours about whether George Sand smoked cigarettes and her wearing trousers, everything led to the locals despising the pair.

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They had an isolated existence and that stimulated their creativity. Chopin finished his series of 24 Preludes and the second Ballade, he composed a Mazurka and a Polonaise, and began the third Scherzo. In turn, Sand who had to look after him, took care of domestic chores and educated the children, also worked intensely, especially on the novel Spiridion, whose main character is a monk. Also, in 1841 she published  Winter in Mallorca, which describes her impressions about the landscape and character of the inhabitants of Valldemossa.

“Mallorca is the El Dorado of painting (…). It is the green of Switzerland, under the sky of Calabria, with the solemnity and the silence of the Orient” (George Sand).

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View of cell number, 2 which preserves George Sand’s handwritten manuscripts of A Winter in Majorca.

George Sand maintained links with progressive democrats and celebrated the end of the French Monarchy. She fought for the rights of women and their political ideas. Nobody can help us like she does to define the spirit of romanticism, the French literary and political generation that, from 1830 onward, defined the cultural concepts that are still present today. She died in 1876 at the age of 72.