|Consuelo, a plain young woman with a divine operatic voice and a heart of sterling integrity, rises from her lowly zingarella (gypsy) beginnings to become a prima donna in Venice. At the same time, many romantic choices are laid before her.|
The French romantic novelist George Sand is the best-known woman writer of 19th-century France. An independent, almost scandalous figure, Sand pushed the limits of then-current French notions of "femininity." She rebelled against a marriage she considered oppressive, leaving her husband for a young writer, Jules Sandeau, and engaging in many extramarital affairs. In 1848 she took an active role in the political upheavals, and radical feminists tried to get her into the Assembly National.