George Eliot and George Sand : a comparative study
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The thesis is a comparative study of George Eliot and George Sand. Numerous references to Sand in Eliot's correspondence, as well as in Lewes's criticism, show that the link between the two female authors was more profound than suspected. Lewes and Sand met and corresponded for a few years and his art theory is greatly indebted to Sand's novels. Sand also exerted a profound influence on Eliot's intellectual and artistic development before Eliot met Lewes. Sand was her "divinity." However, it is Lewes who encouraged Eliot to follow in Sand's footsteps. The thesis is thematic and compares first the impact of Sand's religious novels such as Spiridion and Lélia. Then their social thought is examined, with novels such as Le pêche de Monsieur Antoine and Felix Holt, the Radical. The third part deals with their conception of art, with special attention to the doctrine of Realism and to Sand's rustic novels. Their conception of women is also examined as well as their position on the question of woman's liberation. Finally, I compare their views of the complex relationship between femaleness and literature, in the light of recent feminist criticism.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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