George Sand and Autobiography

Janet Hiddleston

Research Monographs in French Studies 5


1 October 1999  •  118pp

ISBN: 1-900755-25-4 (paperback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85


This timely book discusses George Sand's autobiography Histoire de ma vie from a variety of perspectives -- thematic, structural and stylistic -- and examines the often contradictory images of the author/narrator that emerge, in particular, from Sand's confused and ambivalent attitude to her gender. At each point, Sand's intriguing work is placed in the context of modern autobiographical and feminist theory, and measured against the conventions of traditional male autobiography. What emerges is a fascinatingly hybrid, androgynous text that combines different modes and voices, giving unique access to the person of the author herself, both as she wished to appear and as she appears in spite of herself.

Before her untimely death, shortly after the publication of this book, Janet Hiddleston was Lecturer in French and Fellow at St Hilda's College, Oxford. Her research interests centred on pre-twentieth-century women's writing and she was also the author of Madame de Lafayette and 'La Princesse de Clèves' (1971).


  • ‘Janet Hiddleston's well-informed, lucid and succinct study, which takes account of Sand's complex, often contradictory self-identity in terms of gender, will undoubtedly make more accessible a text which is all too often approached selectively.’ — Belinda Jack, Times Literary Supplement 14 July, 2000
  • ‘It is in subtle textual analysis that Hiddleston excels, and her studies of Sand's vocabulary, structure, imagery, symbolism and narrative strategies break new ground... Hiddleston offers us a sensitive and nuanced portrait of a complex writer.’ — Nigel Harkness, French Studies LV.1, 2001, 104-5
  • ‘The conclusion, in many respects the most compelling section of the book, offers a fascinating analysis of central image polarities of the autobiography, Paris versus Nohant, the Garden of Eden versus 'a room of one's own'.’ — Keith Wren, Modern Language Review 96.3, 2001, 832-3 (full text online)
  • ‘Solidly researched and engagingly written, Hiddleston's studies provide a valuable point of departure for readers coming to these texts for the first time, and a welcome stimulus to further reflection for those already familiar with them.’Nineteenth-Century French Studies 30.3-4, 2002, 417-19)
  • ‘Particular attention is given to Sand's confused and ambivalent attitude to gender, leaving a text in which the contradictions are shown to be largely unresolved.’The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies 1999, 168)
  • unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 37.3, 2001, 343

Bibliography entry:

Hiddleston, Janet, George Sand and Autobiography, Research Monographs in French Studies, 5 (Cambridge: Legenda, 1999)

First footnote reference: 35 Janet Hiddleston, George Sand and Autobiography, Research Monographs in French Studies, 5 (Cambridge: Legenda, 1999), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Hiddleston, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Hiddleston, Janet. 1999. George Sand and Autobiography, Research Monographs in French Studies, 5 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Hiddleston 1999: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Hiddleston 1999: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

This Legenda title was first published by European Humanities Research Centre, University of Oxford but rights to it are now held by Modern Humanities Research Association and Routledge.

Routledge distributes this title on behalf on Legenda. You can search for it at their site by following this link.

Permanent link to this title: