Who was George Sand? She was the first famous Frenchwoman celebrated throughout Europe who wasn't either a saint or a king's mistress. She was also the first woman in Europe to become a best-selling novelist. But her fame is inseparable from her notoriety: the scandal of leaving a husband and child, setting up in Paris with an eighteen-year-old lover, liaisons and friendships with men of talent and even genius: de Musset, Chopin, Balzac, and Flaubert. Politically engaged, Sand was literally, "there at the revolution," those of 1831 and 1848, reporting, analyzing, denouncing, exhorting. She believed always in Progress as she did in Love, though she was doomed to be betrayed in both. Acclaimed literary biographer Benita Eisler sheds new light on the many roles, triumphs, and losses that together constituted Sand's overwhelming presence. With nearly ninety novels, 20,000 letters, and thousands of pages of autobiographical writings and political commentary, how did Sand also have the time to live? As Eisler reveals, hers seems more like several lives--literary, political, amorous, and domestic. Earlier biographers have either flash-frozen Sand into a feminist icon or blurred her in the dynamic of "child of the century," but Naked in the Marketplace presents Sand at her essence--the outsized persona and the inner woman, along with the unique and irreplaceable role she played in the history of her times.
"Quite simply the best life of Byron we have."
"A captivating narrative.... Eisler manages to infuse cultural history with heartbreak."
"[Written] with poetic insight and admirable brevity, combining analytical skill with that of a novelist."
"Insightful...an admirably full and well-balanced account of an extraordinarily crowded and dramatic life."
"Lively...vividly told.... A much more detailed and illuminating account of the poet's life than any previous book."
"The way these artists forged volatile lives and stellar careers is presented in vibrant, enthralling detail...Fascinating, well-researched, and well-written."
"No rendition is better than Benita Eisler's...Prodigious research, excellent writing and an intuitive, psychologically rich analysis...Eisler animates not only the lives of her protagonists: she also suggests new and meaningful ways to understand their art. It is biography at its best."