Famous Marriages George Sand & Casimir Dudevant Part 1

About the marriage between the famous French writer George Sand and Casimir Dudevant, history and account of the wedding.

ANATOMY OF SOME CELEBRATED MARRIAGES

George Sand and Casimir Dudevant

Courtship: Ambrose Bierce once bitterly defined marriage as "a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two." While such a condition certainly would have had little appeal for a fiercely independent woman like "George Sand," it did promise companionship and security to Aurore Dupin.

Aurore, later to become the famous and occasionally infamous "George," met Casimir Dudevant at a troubled time in her life. Abandoned by her bohemian mother to the care of her haughty and strict grandmother, Madame Dupin-Francueil, the young Aurore had been raised in convent schools and the cloistered existence of the family estate at Nohant. After the death of Madame Dupin-Francuil, Aurore's mother unexpectedly reentered her life, laying claim not only to her daughter but to her daughter's possessions.

When her increasingly unbalanced mother tried to force her into marriage, Aurore went on a hunger strike and became ill enough for her mother to give in and send her to stay for a few days with an old army friend of her father's, James Roettiers du Plessis. It was while visiting Du Plessis that Aurore met Casimir Dudevant. Casimir was the illegitimate but acknowledged son of a baron, and his family owned an estate at Guillery, in the Gascon country. Elegant but homely, Casimir captivated the young Aurore with his understanding and playful nature. Writing to her half brother, Hippolyte, Shortly after she met Casimir, Aurore joyfully expressed her happiness: "I have a comrade here, whom I like very much. I ride, jump, and laugh with him just as I did with you!" They didn't court. "That would have troubled our casualness," wrote Aurore.

Proposal: Aurore was pleased because Dudevant made his overtures first to her, rather than officially to her relatives. Believing Dudevant wealthy, she also felt secure in the knowledge that he was not marrying her for her money, although the situation was much more complicated than the young Aurore knew. As an illegitimate child, Casimir had no legal claim to his father's estate. Although he enjoyed the position of son in his father's house, the fact was that he was personally insolvent. By marrying Aurore he would enjoy a somewhat reduced standard of living, but a more secure one.

Aurore's mother wasn't very impressed with Casimir and bluntly offered her opinion to her daughter: "He is not handsome, and I would like a handsome son-in-law to have on my arm!"

Wedding: After a summer of on-again-off-again wedding plans, the ceremony was finally held on Sept. 10, 1822. Casimir and Aurore, 27-year-old bridegroom and 18-year-old bride, lingered a few days with his family before going with Hippolyte, to Nohant.

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