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The Devil's Pool

George Sand

Book Overview: 

George Sand is famous for flaunting the conventions of behavior expected of women of her standing in France at the time and for her numerous romantic liaisons including her long standing affair with Frédéric Chopin. The Devil’s Pool is one of several short pastoral novels drawn from her childhood experiences in the rural French region of Berri. It tells the story of a young widower, Germain, who, at the insistence of his father-in-law, sets out to remarry so that he will have someone to help raise his three young children.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mère Guillette lived in a wretched hovel within two gunshots of the farm. But she was a decent woman and a woman of strong will. Her poor house was neat and clean, and her carefully patched clothes denoted proper self-respect with all her poverty.

"You came to get some fire for the night, eh, Mère Guillette?" said the old man. "Is there anything else you would like?"

"No, Père Maurice," she replied; "nothing just now. I'm no beggar, you know, and I don't abuse my friends' kindness."

"That's the truth; and so your friends are always ready to do you a service."

"I was just talking with your wife, and I was asking her if Germain had at last made up his mind to marry again."

"You're no gossip," replied Père Maurice, "and one can speak before you without fear of people talking; so I will tell my wife and you that Germain has really made up his mind; he starts to-morrow for Fourche."

"Bless me!" excla. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A short ordinary romance story about romanticized versions of the French peasantry. The plot is boring, but the descriptions of rural life and peasant customs are charming. This is a romanticized look at the peasant, and one which differs from the stark grimness of her own musings on Dürer's engr...more

Most people today remember Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, who is better known by her pseudonym George Sand and who died in 1876, less as the author of dozens of novels than as the cross-dressing, cigar-smoking lover of a host of celebrities in the French artistic world, including Alfred de Musset...more

By the 1840s, George Sand's novel-writing career had progressed beyond her decade-long "anti-matriomonial" period, and she began to write (among many other projects) some more upbeat and happy love stories about the peasants of her native Berry region in central France. La Mare au Diable or The...more

Strikes a slightly odd note between fairytale and a record of the poetic side of rural life. I didn't feel that any of the characters were really given a chance to come alive. There's a lot of expositional dialogue: "'Germaine ... you really must make up your mind about finding a new wife. You've...more

A quick little read.

The book is divided into three parts: Introduction from the author; a story that is somewhat of a parable or fairy tale; appendices that provide information about rural life.

The introduction is a commentary on painting of a ploughman, in which a devil dances waiting for the pl...more

This read was for the 2011 French Female Writers Throughout the Ages reading challenge, 19th century novel.

This novel is one of the French classics you are meant to study in school so I am not quite sure how it happened that I had to wait for Céline's reading challenge before I got around to read...more

La Mare au Diable
George Sand née Aurore Dupin (1804 – 1876)
Voilà un petit roman d’amour romantique, campagnard.
La mare ensorcelé ne joue qu’un petit rôle dans ce récit, par contre le mariage avec les nombreuses traditions anciens attachés est longuement développé, un peu trop peut-être.
Pour les...more

What a great view of tiny village life in France. It is about what people do, feel think, what they daily cope with, in such a place. It is also a story of love's anguish. The best part of the book is the wedding and the culture surrounding weddings in France. I immensely enjoyed this book. One o...more

وحدها الصدف تقودك للأقلام الجميلة، لكن عبء الاستمرار بقربها يبقى على عاتقك وحدك، مؤخرًا استحوذت الروائية الفرنسية جورج صاند على اهتمامي حيث تتقافز كنيتها المستعارة هذه من بين روايات ومقالات كثيرة ، أحببت التعرف عليها عن قرب من خلال عمل من أعمالها، العنوان فنّي ومثير وبعيد كل البعد عن مضمون الرواي...more

The big question about George Sand has always been how could anyone so extravagant write such dull books.

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