Short summary - Consuelo - George Sand - Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Consuelo
George Sand - Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin

The action takes place in the 40-50s. XVIII century Together with his heroine, the outstanding singer Consuelo, the reader from sunny Venice finds himself in a gloomy Bohemian forest, walking along the roads of the Czech Republic, Austria and Prussia.
Consuelo, the daughter of a gypsy woman who did not know her father, is naturally endowed with amazing musical abilities and has a wonderful voice. Hardworking and modest, she becomes a favorite student of the famous music teacher Porpora, who, guessing her true talent, gives her lessons for free. The girl's mother died and she lives alone; she is taken care of by an orphan boy Anzoletto, who also has a wonderful voice, but has neither the perseverance nor the efforts of Consuelo. Children love each other with pure, innocent love.
Entering the time of his youth, Andzoletto becomes a real handsome man, Consuelo, who was previously considered an ugly woman, also became unusually prettier. Andzoletto is getting used to easy victories - both over women and in the musical field. His patron, Count Dzustignani, invites him to his theater. Andzoletto's singing was well received in the salons of Venice.
Almost simultaneously with Andzoletto, Consuelo debuts, after whose performance everyone understands that she has no equal neither in skill nor in voice. Consuelo is alien to vanity, while envy awakens in Andzoletto's soul.
The friendly feelings that Andzoletto nurtured for his childhood friend grows into passion. Consuelo agrees to become his wife, but Andzoletto does not even want to think about legal marriage, trying to convince his beloved that this will interfere with their artistic career. Consuelo agrees to wait. Her whole and clear nature is abhorrent to lies and hypocrisy, while her friend has long been accustomed to cunning and dodging. And now, secretly from Consuelo, he started an affair with the prima donna, the mistress of Count Dzustignani Corilla. At the same time, he consoles himself with the fact that Count Dzustignani liked Consuelo, which means that he will certainly make her his mistress. Therefore, he, Andzoletto, has the right to take away his beloved from the count.
Corilla falls more and more in love with Andzoletto, arranges scenes of jealousy for him. Andzoletto is increasingly jealous of Consuelo's success, which accompanies her, wherever she performs - in the temple or on the stage of a comic opera. Count Dzustignani begs Consuelo to give him his love. Faced with such a backstage theater life so alien to her, Consuelo is horrified and flees Venice. On the recommendation of Porpora, she goes to the ancient castle of Giants, located on the border of the Czech Republic and Germany, in order to temporarily become a companion and teacher of music for the young Baroness Amalia, the bride of the young Count Albert. Porpora himself is going to leave for Vienna after a while, where his beloved student will come to him later.
The Castle of Giants belongs to the Rudolstadt family, Czech in origin, but for the sake of saving the heirs, who "made German" their surname during the Thirty Years' War. Since then, the Rudolstadts have lived on their estate, serving as an example of loyal Catholics and devoted servants of Maria Theresa. The last representative of this noble and valiant family, young Albert, the only son of Count Christian, "reached the age of thirty, not knowing and not seeking any other honor and glory, except that which he possessed by birth and state." To many, Albert's behavior seems strange: he surrounds himself with people from the common people, tries to distribute as much money as possible to the poor, he often has "fits of deep sleep", he confuses years and decades, takes himself for his distant ancestor Podebrad. Before his eyes every now and then there are pictures from the history of old Czech: Hussite battles, executions of Protestants, the monks hung on the branches of an oak, a menacing one-eyed Zizka, the avenger of outraged honor of his sister Wanda...
Christian Graf and his sister, Kononissa Wenceslav, they want to marry Albert to his cousin Amalia, with whom he was friends in childhood. Arriving with her father at the castle, Amalia is languishing with boredom, and Albert does not seem to notice her presence at all. Amalia happily meets her companion, although she is somewhat disappointed by her dull look.
Consuelo makes a huge impression on Albert. Getting up from the table, this young aristocrat, dressed in all black, with carelessly drooping hair and a black beard on his tanned face, gives Consuelo his hand, which makes her head spin, and Amalia, although she does not like the count, feels a prick of jealousy ...
One day, Count Albert disappears. Usually he does not come for several days, and when he returns, he behaves as if he was absent for only a few hours. However, this time his absence becomes protracted, the family is in constant anxiety. Searches in the vicinity of the castle lead nowhere.
In the courtyard in front of the windows, Albert Consuelo notices a well with strangely muddy water. Watching him, she sees how Zdenko releases water from there and goes down. Following him, the girl discovers an underground passage leading to the caves under the mysterious Shrekenstein rock.
Consuelo descends into the well, and, wandering through the underground corridors, discovers Albert's hideout. The young count is dreaming - he sometimes calls the girl the abused sister of Zhizka, then his mother Wanda ...
With his sonorous, expressive voice Consuelo manages to bring him out of oblivion, and together they get out upstairs. Consuelo asks Albert to promise her not to go to the caves without her.
From the shock experienced in the underground possessions of Albert, the girl falls ill, and the young count, like an experienced nurse, nurses her. When nothing threatens her health anymore, he confesses his love to her and asks her to become his wife. Consuelo is confused: her own heart is still a mystery to her. Count Christian joins his son's request.
Suddenly, Andzoletto appears in the castle; he pretends to be Brother Consuelo. After scandals in Venice, he manages to get letters of recommendation to Prague, Vienna and Dresden. Upon learning that Consuelo lives in the castle of Rudolstadt, he decides to see her and take her away from the young count, who, according to rumors, made her his mistress. Andzoletto threatens to ruin Consuelo's reputation if she doesn't open her bedroom door for him at night.
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girl is in despair: she realizes that she can no longer love Andzoletto, but she does not yet feel love for Albert. Then Consuelo writes to Count Christian that he is going to Vienna, to his teacher and adoptive father Porpora, in order to tell him about the Count's proposal and ask him for advice. Under cover of the night, Consuelo flees from the castle.
In the surrounding forest, she meets the young Joseph Haydn; he goes to the castle of Giants to ask the patronage of the famous Porpoorina, so that she intercede for him with the maestro. Haydn feels the vocation of a composer in himself; his music teachers taught him everything they knew themselves, and now he wants to learn from Porpora himself. Consuelo admits that she is Porpoorina and invites the young man to travel together. For more safety, she changes into a man's suit.
On the way, they fall into the clutches of recruiters of the Prussian king Friedrich, and only the courage of Baron Friedrich von Trenck saves them from the soldiery. Having stopped for the night in the house of a good canon who adores music, Consuelo is present at the birth of Corilla. The newborn Andzolina, whose father is Andzoletto, is thrown by the canon by the prima donna, and she herself rushes to Vienna in the hope of getting an engagement in the opera of Maria Theresa.
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After reaching the Austrian capital, Consuelo finds Porpora's dwelling. Knowing the maestro's capricious disposition, she advises Haydn to become a lackey to him, so that he gets used to him and himself begins to teach him music. Young Joseph follows her advice.
Consuelo performs in Viennese salons, she is a success. Porpora is proud of her student. However, gradually rumors spread around the city that Consuelo is Haydn's mistress, for they live under the same roof. During the audience, Empress Maria Theresa, who considers herself a champion of morality and family hearth, also asks about her relationship with Haydn. The girl replies modestly, but with dignity, thereby irritating the crowned person: Maria Theresa loves to be humbly asked and agreed with her. Consuelo, on hearing the empress extolling the morality of Corilla, finally loses respect for the sovereign of Austria. As a result, the engagement is not given to her, but to Corilla;
Porpora is upset by Consuelo's failure. Upon learning of the conspiracy between Haydn and Consuelo, as a result of which he began to give lessons to the aspiring composer, he becomes furious. But the young man has already achieved his goal: he learned everything he wanted from the maestro.
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Consuelo begins to be tormented by the question: why don't they answer her letters from the castle of Giants? Moreover, from her last letter it followed that she loves Albert and is more and more inclined to marry him. True, this letter fell into the hands of Porpora, but he claims to have sent it.
Consuelo is increasingly mentally addressing Albert. However, when Porpora informs her of the invitation to perform in Berlin, she happily agrees, deciding that returning to the stage will be a decisive test of her love. In addition, sometimes she flashes the thought that, perhaps, Count Christian managed to persuade his son to abandon an unequal marriage with a singer.
Porpora and Consuelo set off. Arriving in Prague, they see Baron Friedrich von Rudolstadt, the brother of Count Christian, on the bridge. He begs Consuelo to go with him to the castle: Count Albert dies, and before his death he wants to marry her and leave her his fortune. The family pleads with Consuelo to grant Albert's last wish. Porpora is terribly unhappy, he wants his student to throw this count out of her head. But Consuelo is adamant: she goes to the castle.
Seeing Albert, Consuelo rushes to him: she feels that she is in love. But it's too late: Albert has only a few minutes to live. Count Christian declares that Porpora wrote to him that he would never consent to Consuelo's marriage with Albert, and "his pupil herself refuses him." "Alas! This dealt a fatal blow to the young count, ”he adds.
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Albert and Consuelo forgive the old maestro. The priest performs the ceremony. "Saved!" - exclaims Albert and dies. But, standing near his coffin, Consuelo does not feel the breath of death. “No death, Albert! <…> My heart feels it, for now I love you more than ever, ”she whispers. Inconsolable relatives want to leave the girl in the castle, give her the inheritance of Albert, but she refuses everything and leaves with Porpora.
In the last lines, the author informs that the most patient can read the next novel about Consuelo's further wanderings and what happened to Count Albert after his death.