Margaret Fuller, Critic: Writings from the New-York Tribune, 1844-1846

By Judith Mattson Bean; Joel Myerson | Go to book overview

Jenny Lind… The Consuelo of George Sand

Jenny Lind, the prima donna of Stockholm, is among the most distinguished of those geniuses who have been invited to welcome the Queen of England to Germany. Her name has been unknown among us, as she is still young and has not wandered much from the scene of her first triumphs; but many may have seen, last Winter, in the foreign papers an account of her entrance into Stockholm after an absence of some length. The people received her with loud cries of homage, took the horses from her carriage and drew her home; a tribute of respect often paid to Conquerors and Statesmen, but seldom, or, as far as we know, never, to the priesthood of the Muses, who have conferred the higher benefit of refining, raising and exhilarating the popular mind.

An accomplished Swede, now in this country, communicated to a friend particulars of Jenny Lind's career, which suggested the thought that she might have given the hint for the principal figure in Sand's late famous novel, “Consuelo.”

This work is at present in process of translation in “The Harbinger,” a periodical published at Brook Farm, Mass.,n but as this translation has proceeded but little way, and the book in its native tongue is not generally, though it has been extensively, circulated here, we will give a slight sketch of its plan.1

It has been a work of deepest interest to those who have looked upon Sand, for some years back, as one of the best exponents of the difficulties, the errors, and the aspirations, the weaknesses and the regenerative powers of the present epoch. The struggle in her mind and the experiments of her life have been laid bare to the eye of her fellow creatures, with fearless openness, fearless, not shameless; let no man confound the bold unreserve of Sand with that of those who have lost the feeling of beauty and the love of good. With a bleeding

____________________
1
Consuelo was translated in fifty issues of the Brook Farm paper, the Harbinger, in 1845–47 by Francis George Shaw (1809–82), reformer and translator.
n
Mass, [Mass,

-227-

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