Front Page Titles (by Subject) Appendix D: GEORGE SAND UNPUBLISHED [AFTER 9 APR., 1848] - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXV - Newspaper Writings December 1847 - July 1873 Part IV
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Appendix D: GEORGE SAND UNPUBLISHED [AFTER 9 APR., 1848] - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXV - Newspaper Writings December 1847 - July 1873 Part IV 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, XXV - Newspaper Writings December 1847 - July 1873 Part IV, ed. Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson, Introduction by Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986).
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For the background to this draft letter (dated on internal evidence), see No. 371, the fuller French version, with its notes.
i am an old admirer of george sand and was one of the first to give her honour public and private. When all other persons in England abused her as an immoral and indecent writer I and my circle of friends, persons not without influence, were the first to s’écrier against the charges universally made 15 years ago against her writings and to appeal to all who condemned them, from their judgment then to their judgment now, and the event has justified the appeal. How then can I express my astonishment, mortification and grief to find that when a great political crisis of the world has arrived, brought about by the noble [élan]1 of Paris, Mme G. Sand alone remains behind—not only takes no initiative, puts forth no principles, but in a manner worthy only of a timid and commonplace lady, repudiates the kindly flatteries made to her in your paper.
Her letter to the Réforme protesting against the use of her name in your paper is to me incomprehensible for its fatuity. I can only attribute it to a fear that her literary vanity may be compromised by the connexion of her established reputation with your unestablished—However this may be, the reply to her letter, in your paper, is as superior in dignity and disinterestedness to hers as her literary reputation to yours. I have only now to say for myself and for all women of strong mind and large heart I can only say I wish you all possible success in your undertaking and I only hope you will treat the disavowal of connexion with you by any woman whether George Sand or any other with the silent pity which is the tribute one pays to weakness and timidity.
Sand is like one of our English writing women (I do not know how the case may be in France) who always commence by declaring that they do not intend to advocate the emancipation of women although to the partial emancipation of women gained by more generous spirits it is alone owing that they are able to make their voices heard and to take up that position in society and literary influence which they are afraid to compromise by any attempt to help on the same cause. English literary women have been hitherto particularly distinguished by their little basenesses caused by timidity.
I agree with you in your expressions of admiration of her fine talent, beautiful stories and admirable style but I think you are making a great error and one most injurious to the cause of women in applying the term philosophe to her. If there be anything characteristic of Sand’s writings it is the presence of imagination and feeling and the absence of thought.
She means to écraser them du haut de sa supériorité which as a thinker or a practical person certainly does not exist.2 Latterly however I have feared that she was destined, contrary to what I had hoped, to be no otherwise useful to the cause of women (from which the best interests of society can never be separated) than, in the manner in which all eminent women are so, by the mere fact of being women.
[1 ]Left blank in manuscript; “élan” in the French version.
[2 ]Here in the manuscript a blank space that would permit two words to be written is followed by a cancelled false start: “I fear that contrary”. This passage is not in the French version.