Isidora by George Sand

Isidora, George Sand

This is the original Dame aux Camelias! Not the one written later by Alexandre Dumas-son who had read Sand's Isidora, nor Verdi's La Traviata, no! Here we have the real Dame aux Camelias, thought and written by a woman: George Sand.

What's the difference?
A woman's view of women.
Does it matter?
Oh yes it does!
Why is it important?
Because who can understand a woman better than another woman? In Isodora, George Sand makes his character Jacques say: I think Isodora knows a lot more about women than I do.
Personally, I'm sure she does!

George Sand is breaking every code created by men for millennia. In Isodora, she shows that women cannot be divided into two categories:
the pure woman who is either the virgin daughter or the mother and wife,
the impure woman who is either the courtesan or the free woman,
as denounced by Naomi McDougall Jones in The Wrong Kind of Women, in 2020, 180 years later!

Isidora begins with the questions that Jacques, one of the three characters in the book, asks himself. Jacques would like to answer questions that have never been asked before, such as:
A woman is she or is she not the equal of man in the mind of God?
But Jacques immediately rephrases his question:
Is the human species composed of two different beings, man and woman?
This is also the question asked by Germaine Greer in The Female Eunuch in 1973, 130 years later!
George Sand would like to be able to "regulate the relationship between men and women in society, in the family, in politics." By the way, her character Jacques scratches authors, utopians, metaphysicians and poets, all men who have cavalierly and nimbly resolved this problem by placing women either too high or too low. Another question from Jacques, alias Sand:
What will be the education of children in the ideal Republic?
That is to say, to whom will this education be entrusted? to the man, to the woman, to society? from what age? until what age?
Jacques continues to ask himself:
"It is agreed to say that women have less capacity than men... it's a very controversial point. What do we know about it? Their education diverts them from serious studies, our prejudices forbid them... Add that we have examples of the opposite. What divine logic would have presided over the creation of a being so necessary to man, so capable of governing and yet so inferior to him?"

So many questions...
In George Sand's century, courtesans could sometimes be regenerated by a man's love: they became wise wives, they were back on the straight and narrow. A man's love washed away their sins; their conduct as repentant women unto death made them almost respectable women. Thus the Dame aux Camelias by Alexander Dumas-son and Verdi's Violette’s Traviata save their souls with the help of a man.

George Sand's Isidora will not be saved by a man, but by the friendship of another woman. If she is to be saved at all... because George Sand, a woman, understands all the Isidoras of this world, understands that their trade as courtesans is largely due to the way a men's society works.
In this society, how Alice, the young widow married early to a wicked husband and Isidora, a double character half angel half demon, will walk towards each other, understand each other. Between the two of them, poor James, eager to savour a demon, but dreaming of an angel, will have a hard time understanding women. Yet women are not mysterious beings. One would only have to listen to them tell their own stories to finally understand and love them as they are.

O modern, intelligent, farsighted George Sand!
Long before the feminists of the 20th century, long before the admirable women who are still trying, in the 21st century, to achieve equality between women and men, such as the brilliant women of THE 51 FUND, a production company of films written and directed by women, you, George Sand, have never ceased to make men open their eyes to what women are: diverse and varied humans, with their qualities and faults. Women whose stories we've killed since the dawn of time. Women who have the ability to be friends and not always rivals as men would have them believe. Women who can support each other.

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