Heidi Collins
Marie-Jeanne Riccoboni and George Sand: The Feminine view of love and marriage in their novels of the 18th and 19th century.

Female authors in the period surrounding the French Revolution were expanding the Enlightenment’s call for equality to include women, a population who had been largely ignored by their male counterparts. Through a close reading of their works, this study will look at two of these authors, Marie-Jeanne Riccoboni (1713-1792) and George Sand (1804-1876), to gain a better understanding of the changing views of love and marriage in pre- and post-revolutionary France. Although their novels are of a high quality and were best-sellers in their time, until recently these works have been largely ignored by a male-dominated critical establishment. Both authors address the problems surrounding marriage – a major cause for the subjugation of women – providing insight into the views of both the authors and their readers, and addressing the difficulties women faced balancing marriage, duty to their families, love, and independence. Riccoboni, writing before the revolution, warns readers of the problems with love and marriage due primarily to men’s dishonesty. Sand, writing after the revolution and the reign of Napoleon, creates romantic heroines that are more in touch with their own emotions and needs. Sand proposes that a platonic friendship grown to a passionate love will produce a happy marriage.

Faculty Mentor: David Eick


Heidi presented at the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Conference February 14-17, 2008 in Auburn, AL.

Page last modified July 14, 2009