Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A visit to the Home of George Sand - Nohant - France

Vacation Report 7:

We were invited to the Home of George Sand in Nohant, in the middle of France. Here it is, Nohant on the Map

Hereby you are also invited to the home of this unique person, a very productive writer and a very early feminist. Her life was vey challenging in the 1800-hundreds France, to express it softly.

The visit to her home was - well - something very special.... So read on.

Many of my readers my have read something of her works and her relationships with famous artists and intellectuals, pre-feminsist and aristocrates etc in France between 1830 until her death in 1876, among them the famous Composer Frédéric Chopin.

For some reasons I believe most of my readers do not have heard about this very special personality George Sand. In fact a Woman that did write under a Male pseudonym. Why?
Continue reading.... and click on the Links.

I will combine this post with some facts and links to more facts with Photos I took during our visit.

Anna is saying: "Follow me" (We had a French Guide - so you here had to accept a Norwegian writing in some sort of English)

Here you see George Sands Home. Main entrence in the Centre

Before we go inside, just read this:
Also scandalous was Sand's smoking tobacco in public; neither peerage nor gentry had yet sanctioned the free indulgence of women in such a habit, especially in public . These and other behaviors were exceptional for a woman of the early and mid-19th century, when social codes—especially in the upper classes—were of the utmost importance.

After our visit inside George Sand's home, I was told it's forbidden to take photos there. So the following photos are unique.



As you can see, from the Photo of George Sands house, she was not born among the poorest in France.

This beautiful Chandeliere tells a lots of her style and heritage.
At that time, they did not have electricity

As a consequence of many unorthodox aspects of her lifestyle, Sand was obliged to relinquish some of the privileges appertaining to a baroness — though, interestingly, the mores of the period did permit upper-class wives to live physically separated from their husbands, without losing face, provided the estranged couple exhibited no blatant irregularity to the outside world.

What has allways been a fascination to me is Cooking.

Here you see George Sands kitchen. At that time it was very modern and new technology was implemented. Not only to cook, but also to preserve the food to be served "au point" and not to forget use the heath from the Ovens to Heath the whole Villa during the Winter Months.

Look at this. A Chefs wonder and dreams even to day.

Poet Charles Baudelaire was a contemporary critic of George Sand: "She is stupid, heavy and garrulous. Her ideas on morals have the same depth of judgment and delicacy of feeling as those of janitresses and kept women.... The fact that there are men who could become enamoured of this slut is indeed a proof of the abasement of the men of this generation."

After a visit to the Kitchen, let's go to the intimate Dining Room. For very special invited Guests only.

Here George Sand invited the intellectual elite from those times. They came here from Paris by Railway or Horsedroven Wagons.
You have to visit to see how her friends were arranged at the Table

Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, later Baroness (French:baronne) Dudevant (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), best known by her pseudonym George Sand was a French novelist. She is considered by some a feminist although she refused to join this movement. She is regarded as the first French female novelist to gain a major reputation. Her production was enormous. 82 different titles.

After dinner and talks it was about time to have some entertainment.

Often, the first entertaiment was a puppet theatre. Just for fun. And for a hand-picked audience.Because the play-lines was not "comme-il-faut" at that time. And political incorrect.

And why not have a rehearsel of her fellow author's new plays and books, in her private Theatre?
Many Author's lines and texts have been changed during those evenings. Friends gave their instant opinions and feed-back. Try to imagine how it was, these evenings
.

Sand's best works include her countryside novels LA MARE AU DIABLE (1846), in which Germain, a young widower, must choose between a rich woman and a poor girl, FRANÇOIS LE CHAMPI (1847-48), LA PETITE FADETTE (1849), and LES MAÎTRES SONNEURS (1853). In LUCREZIA FLORIANI (1846) Sand depicted her relationship with Frédéric Chopin (Prince Karol de Roswald in the book). HORACE (1842) was an examination of the young generation enthused by the ideals of Romanticism. She also wrote memoirs, short stories, essays and fairy tales. ELLE ET LUI (1859), a triangle drama, reflected her romance with Musset, who answered with Lui et elle, in which he defended his brother. Louise Colet continued the literary battle with Lui (1860).

Here some Flowers from the estates beautiful Garden

In 1842, the English critic George Henry Lewes said that Sand was ''the most remarkable writer of the present century.'' However, Sand's literary reputation started to decline after her death, and in the beginning of the 20th century, her work did not attract much attention. "The world will know and understand me someday," Sand once wrote to her critics. "But if that day does not arrive, it does not greatly matter. I shall have opened the way for other women."


In the Garden at Nohant, you will find several quotations from famous persons. Here is one written by George Sand about love.

Next stop: Sancerre or Bourges, so stay tuned. Will it be Wine or Cathedral?

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16 Comments:

Blogger Sandee said...

This is the first I've heard of George Sand. Very interesting life indeed. I'm glad there were women like her to carve the way for so many more women. Bravo.

Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Anna. :)

August 27, 2009 12:56 am  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

A most WONDERFUL Post, Tor....And well worth the wait. You really did an enormous amount of research and shared a lot with us...Your pictures are quite extraordinaty---ESPECIALLY since one is not supposed to take pictures in there....! BEAUTIFUL! Was the food "real" that was on the table??

BTW: I just re-saw, YESTERDAY, the film made here in the US, back in the 1940's---(I think 1945 or 1946---something like that..) about Frederic Chopin and George Sand called, "A SONG TO REMEMBER" starring Cornel Wilde as Chopin and Merle Oberon playing Sand....It is worth renting, my dear, JUST for the Music!! How truly accurate it is---Well...probably not very...lol!
But for you, having been to her house, you might really enjoy it., plus the Costumes are very Beautiful---But it is ALL the Music of Chopin that lifts this film into something quite special!

August 27, 2009 1:02 am  
Blogger Maribeth said...

I had heard of George Sand before. In my study of literary history. She was an amazing woman!

August 27, 2009 1:20 am  
Blogger Mar said...

What an interesting and well-prepared post, Tor, very enjoyable to read about George Sand.
Great shots as well.

August 27, 2009 9:41 am  
Blogger Gattina said...

Of course we read George Sand in school, I have always admired her because she was far in advance of her time !

August 27, 2009 5:23 pm  
Anonymous claudie said...

Hey Tor
I would want to visit George Sand house! Of course I studied at school and what I love is the fact she wanted to have the same rights as men at her time. Not so easy to resist against the pression at anytime even today there are lot of things to change for women like the differences at work in the privat entreprises in France. it begins to change but so slowly.
i would want to see more politic women in politic too. Some have a lot of charism and stay still in the shadow.
Anyway thanks for sharing with us this fabulous moment you had at George Sand home.

August 28, 2009 12:36 am  
Blogger katztales said...

I read George Sand at school but I've never seen pics of her home. Thanks for sharing!

August 28, 2009 2:47 am  
Blogger Shammickite said...

This woman who wrote as a man was certainly a person who did things exactly as she wanted and did not allow the rules of society of her day to influence her. I admire people like that, women who have a definite mind of their own, but I think they must be very difficult to live with! Great post, I must find out more about George Sand. Of course, there was a Victorian English author who wrote her novels under a male name, George Eliot, and was really a woman, Mary Anne Evans.

August 28, 2009 4:46 am  
Blogger Shammickite said...

BTW, the kitties in your previous post are GORGEOUS! I want one, no, I want them all!

August 28, 2009 4:47 am  
Blogger Vagabonde said...

Your visit of George Sand’s house and the pictures were fascinating to me. My mother liked her a lot and had many of her books – I read several. I did visit Le Musée de la Vie romantique in Paris, a small but pretty museum where they assembled many souvenirs from George Sand.

August 29, 2009 12:27 am  
Anonymous A. said...

Guess what? If we'd been in France at our house this summer, you would have been about 50 km from us! There are so many places around the area which are mentioned in George Sand's books. Great post, really great!

August 29, 2009 11:07 pm  
Anonymous DianeCA said...

This looks like a nice place to visit. I love the kitchen and that chandelier is to die for!!! I see you had a good time before we came on board too! You really had a good time this summer!

August 30, 2009 1:06 am  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

so amazing and beautiful. Now I'd definitely love to visit (well live in) a place like that!

August 31, 2009 5:05 am  
Blogger Shadow said...

i'm happy you pointed me in this direction... i've not heard of her before, but what you've written here has piqued my interest. i'm off to follow some of your links... thank you!!!

September 01, 2009 6:52 pm  
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February 01, 2010 9:22 am  
Anonymous sikiş izle said...

nice post

March 01, 2010 10:20 pm  

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