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Lot 105: Sand, George. A fine collection of nine autograph letters signed spanning over three decades.
July 11, 2014
Calabasas, CA, USALive Auction
105. Sand, George. A fine collection of nine autograph letters signed spanning over three decades of her prolific writing career. A French Romantic writer, Sand found her true form in her rustic novels, which drew their chief inspiration from her lifelong love of the countryside and sympathy for the poor. The present collection of letters provides abundant detail on Sand’s personal and literary life. Highlights of the collection include:
Autograph letter signed, in French, 1 page octavo, [no place, 14 April 1835], on stationery with her embossed initials, to Anténor Joly; integral address panel.
Sand writes of her novel, Engelwald, in part: Please allow me to complete my novel before I see about selling it. I have done some calculations and found out that the courier did not offer me much less than I could ask for somewhere else, without being greedy. However, judging by reasonable standards your figures are somewhat too low. The difference is not so big that I might reject your offer, but it will give us the opportunity to discuss it a little further before we conclude a deal . . .So I am going to finish my story and in a few days, I will write to you “it is finished, come and see me.”
Autograph letter signed (“G. Sand”), in French, 3 pages octavo, 29 April 1842, on stationery with her embossed initials,to an unnamed critic; repair to central horizontal fold.
Sand writes in part: I owe my thanks, Sir, for the kind and generous appreciation of my works you wrote in la Phalange; you gave my talent much more praise than it deserves; but the honesty and the elevation of your heart led you to such excess of kindness to me, because you recognized someone well-intentioned in me. Pax Hominibus bonae voluntatis [Peace on earth and goodwill to all men]. That is my motto, and it is also the only Latin I know. But this being certain, from the bottom of my soul, that I have always meant well, has helped me find consolation for other people’s injustices as well as for my own failings . . .Sand continues her lengthy letter asking if her correspondent might read a small book she has sent along, noting: I am sure that you will want to encourage such a sturdy , such a wildly strong talent, and that it will strike you as it does me. . .
Autograph letter signed, in French, 3 pages octavo, Nohant, 7 December 1851, to an unidentified woman. Sand writes to her correspondent about her play, “Le Mariage de Victorine,”a love story which concluded with the happy marriage of a poor adopted daughter to the son of the house. Contrary to her custom, Sand went to Paris for the opening of the play. A few days after the opening, Louis Napoléon staged his coup d‘état, Sand quickly returned to Nohant and the play closed. In the present letter Sand laments the situation.
She writes in part: Be sure that I feel sorry about the great misfortune Victorine went through more for you and Mr. Montigny than for myself. Be sure too that I want to do all I can to make up for this disaster, by writing another play in better days to the best of my ability, for which I promise right now that I won’t ask him any bonus if, as it is to be feared, Victorine, after being stricken down in its prime, does not rise again from the barrier which it has fallen . . . In 1876, the play was revived––a new generation of theater-goers who had not seen the original production twenty-five years earlier was charmed and a long run was assured.
Autograph letter signed, in French, 1 page octavo, [no place], 30 August 1855, to Abbé S. Clément. The letter is accompanied by an autograph poetical manuscript signed by Clément being a gift for Sand on the death of her grand-daughter.
Sand’s poignant letter, in full: Thank you so much, dear Sir; you are the good shepherd, both sympathetic and consoling. Your poem is sincere, and that is what makes it good, since form only is nothing when the idea is not there. Yes, yes, it is true love is stronger than death, and I am sure that my child and I will be together again. The other night, I dreamed that she was returned to me, and I regard this dream as a gift sent to me. I do not have superstitions about dreams, but when they are sweet, I think we must be grateful. They are a consolation that night brings to our days. Again, thank you. With much love from the bottom of my heart.
Autograph letter signed (“G. Sand”), 4 pages octavo, Nohant, 18 August, 1871, to her publisher, retuning a proof with corrections. She writes in part: . . . I beg you to make sure that my punctuation is observed; without it my style, (by it’s very nature) is incomprehensible. Thus, I am very careful in my corrections, but most newspapers couldn’t care less . . .I admit that I am extremely sensitive to a comma which distorts an idea . . .
A particularly rich collection of letters revealing precious details on Sand’s literary endeavors and her personal trials and tribulations.
$10,000 - $15,000