The Miller of Angibault by George Sand
Dostoevsky called George Sand `one of us, a Russian idealist of the 1840 generation', and The Miller of Angibault (1845) is Sand's 'arch-socialist' novel, according to the writer herself. But it is a rural socialism which makes the novel unique. Rejected by its original publisher as too violent an attack on property, The Miller of Angibault actually satirizes the utopian ideals of Paris reformers who try to put their naive plans into action among the country folk of Sand's native Berry. The novel reflects both the ebullient political movements of its period and the despairing conviction that the Revolution of 1789 had changed nothing. Yet it is also a love story, charged with Sand's self-effacing humour and filled with gentle lyricism. This book is intended for students of French literature, especially of the mid-nineteenth century, of women's writing, the early socialist novel; students on comparative literature courses (all from undergraduate level up).