Anne M Carson – George Sand’s literary estate

Carson LE P&W 1 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume One Nov-Dec 2023

The author ponders the weight of George Sand’s literary estate, poem by Anne M. Carson

The author ponders
the weight of George Sand’s
literary estate

A one-kilogram ingot of gold is about the
size of a mobile phone. In 1880, four years
after her death Sand’s children Maurice
and Sol sold the rights to her enormous
literary estate for the equivalent of 36 kilos

of gold. Imagine 36 mobile phone-sized
bars of gold. Surprisingly heavy. 125,000
francs for her entire estate, worth nearly 2
million dollars today. When alive she sold
her autobiography for 130,000 francs. One
of the highest paid authors in her day, but
income was paycheque to paycheque. She
had inherited a small château employed
domestic staff. Always had a cauldron of
soup on the range for the hungry. Even
though she didn’t believe charity would
prompt social change, she gave away over
one million dollars during her life but
sometimes her shoes had holes or she
went without a winter coat.

© Anne M. Carson

Anne M. Carson is a poet, essayist and visual artist whose poetry has been published internationally, and widely in Australia, receiving numerous awards including shortlisting in the 2022 Newcastle Poetry Prize. The Detective’s Chair was published by Liquid Amber Press, 2023. She is on the final leg of a PhD in creative writing candidate at RMIT, writing a poetic biography of prolific novelist and socially progressive, George Sand.