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A fascinating exploration of the life of George Sand--whose brilliant writing, radical politics, and unorthodox personality made her a legendary figure in her own time and forever after. Born Aurore Dupin in 1804, Sand became France's best-selling writer, rivaled in her day only by Victor Hugo--yet she was known as much for her excessive life as for her plays, stories, and enduring novels like Indiana, Lélia, and Mauprat. The daughter of a prostitute and an aristocrat, great-granddaughter of the King of Poland, Sand grew up acutely aware of social injustice and prejudice. Convent-educated, she became a mischievous, flamboyant rebel at the center of French intellectual and artistic life. Her intimate circle included Liszt, Delacroix, Balzac, and Flaubert. She was a magnet for some of the greatest writers of her era: Henry James, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Dostoyevsky, and Turgenev. Her long, troubled romance with Chopin was just one of her many affairs with both men and women. A believer in the equality of the sexes, she thought marriage "a barbarous institution"; a socialist, she acted as Minister of Propaganda after the Revolution of 1848. Legendary for her free life, cigar-smoking, and scandalous cross-dressing, she also spun a web of fraught relationships with her grandmother, mother, daughter, and beloved granddaughter. No one quite matches George Sand--she remains unique, powerful, vital, and mysterious. In this rich new biography, Belinda Jack gives the full flavor of Sand's personality and delves beneath the surface of her life and her age,showing how her art both reflected and shaped her life. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a remarkable writer--and an extraordinary woman.From the Hardcover edition.