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The first English translation of one of George Sand’s major novels.
An astonishingly modern novel, George Sand’s Valvèdre questions traditional Romantic representations of women and exposes the disastrous consequences such notions of femininity have for both male and female characters at a time when divorce was illegal. This first English translation by Françoise Massardier-Kenney shows Sand’s control of style and her understanding of the major tensions of early modern France: the role of women in society, the nature of motherhood, the relations between science and art, and the nature of prejudice.
“…this welcome translation finally makes it possible to include Valvèdre alongside other major nineteenth-century French and European novels in comparative literature courses and research projects.” — Forum for Modern Languages
“This is one of Sand’s most important, yet unknown, novels that addresses questions still pertinent today regarding the responsibilities of husbands and wives in marriage, with emphasis on the negative effects on a woman of a patriarchal culture. It also deals with the need for balance in one’s choices of a profession and lifestyle and shows the novelist at her most developed state, balancing romantic interest with ethical concerns. The translator has captured the fluid style of Sand and made accessible a nineteenth-century novel to a modern audience without losing its original flavor.” — Thelma Jurgrau, editor and translator of Story of My Life: The Autobiography of George Sand
“There are only a few of Sand’s novels available in English in a modern edition. There is nothing more compelling, it seems to me, than the advantage that this book would bring to curricula where a woman’s text that speaks of women’s issues is being sought.” — David A. Powell, author of While the Music Lasts: The Representation of Music in the Works of George Sand
Françoise Massardier-Kenney is Professor of French and Director of the Institute for Applied Linguistics at Kent State University. She is the coeditor (with Doris Y. Kadish) of Translating Slavery: Gender and Race in French Women’s Writing, 1783–1823 and author of Gender in the Fiction of George Sand.