18. Europe, on the trail of George Sand and George Eliot

It took the young Sand as long as three days to travel the 180 miles to Paris from Nohant in a horse-drawn carriage. By the time she was middle-aged, she could get to there by train and buggy in 24 hours. I made the trip from Paris to Nohant by car in an afternoon. There was urban sprawl around Orleans but fields and forests beyond. When I got off the highways, a tracery of country roads led me to Sand's village, a cluster of warm brown stone cottages, surrounded by farm fields and overlooked by a Romanesque church. It has a tourist office, a souvenir shop and an accommodating inn, L'Auberge de la Petite Fadette, named for one of her novels. >> Read more Pictured: George Sand's home in Nohant, France
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