George Sand “Winter in Mallorca” – book review

Full disclosure: I read a Polish translation of this book. 

I have not read any of George Sand’s other works and I reached for this one specifically because I staying in Mallorca at the time. As such, the book was an entertaining and informative read about 19th-century Mallorca (or rather, a French perspective of it). George Sand is definitely too harsh and patronizing when she writes about the Mallorcans, however. One needs to steel one’s patience as Sand writes about her hosts in a dismissive and simplifying manner. 

However, to be fair to her, she was mainly indignant because of the way the Mallorcans treated her and Frederic Chopin. The couple attracted much scorn because of their unmarried status. The situation was not helped by the fact that Chopin was already seriously ill (possibly with tuberculosis) and the Mallorcans were worried that he was contagious. They even suggested that George Sand should not allow her children near him. They had a point, but understandably enough, George Sand found their attitude callous and inhuman. 

Despite all of George Sand’s moaning about the Mallorcans, the book still makes an interesting read – Sand was interested in the local architecture and customs and inspired by the historical ruins that surrounded her. The most beautiful passage in the book is her description of rapture in encountering the coast by Valdemossa – a glorious meeting between earth and sea. That sentiment I could certainly echo. 

The book is certainly worth reading if you’re heading to Mallorca for your holidays.

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