Carol Emory &
The Wingate Foundation,
Trudy & Gary H. Moore
Gennaro "Gerry" DeVito
& Merrill J. Meltz
STARTS September 2
- In The News
- Program Notes
The flagship play upon which Aurora Theatre Company was built, Dear Master by prize-winning Berkeley author Dorothy Bryant was originally produced at the Berkeley City Club in 1991. A dialogue in letters between the two great 19th-century French novelists, George Sand and Gustave Flaubert, Dear Master is an elegantly orchestrated play, providing flesh-and-blood portraits of these famed intellectual writers and revealing their fears, desires, heated opinions and friendship during an era marked by violence and political polarization.
“[Dear Master] shimmers with relevant and touching insights into politics, art and life.” - SF Bay Guardian
Runtime: approximately 90 minutes with no intermission
San Jose Mercury News
East Bay Express
The Daily Californian
Edge Media Network
Dog Mom’s Dish
KIMBERLY KING* - George Sand
DOROTHY BRYANT - Playwright
ANNIE SMART** - Set Designer
Sand and Flaubert
by Josh Costello, Literary Manager & Artistic Associate
George Sand is the pseudonym taken by novelist and memoirist Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin (1804-1876). Sand was raised on a country estate before being placed in a convent in Paris and then in an unhappy marriage; neither lasted. Returning to Paris in 1831, Sand soon gained fame as a writer of articles and novels, including Lélia (1833). She wrote propaganda for the February Revolution of 1848, but supported Versailles against the Paris Commune in 1871. Her friendships and romantic entanglements with various male and female luminaries included a long affair with Frédéric Chopin. Later in life, Sand returned to the countryside and her family, where she continued to write romantic novels and an extraordinary amount of correspondence.
Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) is known as the founder of literary realism. Madame Bovary (1857), his best-known work, inspired a trial against him for immorality; he was not convicted. Flaubert lived in Paris as a young law student, but retired to his family's estate near Rouen following an illness, without completing his studies. He traveled to the Middle East and wrote about his experiences -- including his dalliances with male and female prostitutes. Flaubert never married, though he carried on a long affair with the poet Louise Colet. His other works include Salammbô (1862), Sentimental Education (1869), The Temptation of St Anthony (1874), and Three Tales (1877). Flaubert's style inspired and influenced generations of writers, including Zola, Kafka, and Sartre.
1804 - George Sand born. Napoleon becomes Emperor of France.
1814 - Louis XVIII crowned King of France; monarchy re-established.
1821 - Flaubert born
1833 - Sand publishes Lélia, a novel about an independent woman.
1846 - Giving up on his law studies, Flaubert leaves Paris following his father's death.
1848 - February Revolution ushers in the French Second Republic; Sand writes leftist Revolutionary bulletins. Napoleon's nephew (later Napoleon III) elected President.
1849-50 - Flaubert travels to Middle East
1852 - Napoleon III suspends elected assembly, forms Second French Empire.
1857 - Flaubert publishes Madame Bovary, his first and most famous novel.
1869 - death and funeral of literary critic Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve. A major French literary critic, as well as a poet, professor, historian, and senator, Sainte-Beuve is mentioned frequently in Flaubert and Sand's correspondence.
June 1870 - death in exile of revolutionary hero Armand Barbès, a leading figure in various conspiracies, secret societies, coups, and revolutions over multiple decades.
July 1870 - France declares war on Prussia (Germany); Prussia invades France.
September & October, 1870 - Leftist protesters in Paris demand a new government.
January 1871 - National Government negotiates armistice with Prussia; eventually agrees to pay 5 billion Francs in exchange for Prussian withdrawal.
March 1871 - Paris Commune, a revolutionary government restricted to Paris, established after clashes with National Government forces.
April/May 1871 - heavy violence in and around Paris between the National Guard (in theory, all able-bodied men of Paris, fighting for the Commune) and the regular army, invading Paris from Versailles in the name of the National Government. The National Guard is defeated amidst many executions and massacres on both sides. Perhaps as many as 20,000 killed during "The Bloody Week".
1874 - Flaubert publishes the final version of The Temptation of St Anthony.
1876 - Sand dies age 71 following an illness.
1880 - Flaubert dies of a stroke at age 58.