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3 - George Sand

“The People” Found and Lost

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 March 2021

Jonathan Beecher
Affiliation:
University of California, Santa Cruz
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Summary

George Sand’s novels did much to shape the sensibilities of the young people who welcomed the February Revolution. During March and April, she helped prepare the election of a Constituent Assembly by writing “Bulletins” published by the Interior Minister Ledru-Rollin. Her voluminous correspondence illustrates vividly the enthusiasm of many romantic writers during the first weeks of the revolution. Her rejection of the proposal by feminist journalists that she stand for election opens a window on divisions among feminists in 1848. But for our purposes, Sand’s primary importance lies in the way her correspondence illustrates both the flowering of the cult of “the people” in the spring of 1848 and the causes of the disillusionment that set in early. After May 15 Sand ceased to believe that the people were capable of governing themselves. Her relations with the worker-poet Charles Poncy are considered at length because they can stand as an epitome of both the success and the failure of Sand’s attempts to get close to “the people.” While much of the scholarly literature stresses Sand’s lifelong adherence to “the principles of 1848,” I argue that there was little left after 1848 of the ideals that she had brought to the February Revolution.

Type
Chapter
Information
Writers and Revolution
Intellectuals and the French Revolution of 1848
, pp. 81 - 122
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • George Sand
  • Jonathan Beecher, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Book: Writers and Revolution
  • Online publication: 11 March 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108909792.005
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  • George Sand
  • Jonathan Beecher, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Book: Writers and Revolution
  • Online publication: 11 March 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108909792.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • George Sand
  • Jonathan Beecher, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Book: Writers and Revolution
  • Online publication: 11 March 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108909792.005
Available formats
×