CONSUELO: A Romance of Venice (1842-1843) by George Sand is a glorious story of true love, a paean to music and the creative power of art, and a personal crossroads of choices.
Consuelo, a plain young woman with a divine operatic voice and a heart of sterling integrity, rises from her lowly zingarella (gypsy) beginnings to become a prima donna in Venice and in several courts of Europe, bewitching all with her uncompromising artistic excellence and her profound interpretation of music. At the same time romantic choices are laid before her in the shape of a beautiful but frivolous comrade of childhood, a loyal friend and fellow adventurer, a mysterious holy madman who may also be a saint and her one true love, and finally, a king.
And yet, every artist must choose the nature of their personal fulfillment, and Consuelo's life path appears to be ever-dissonant with ecstasy and sorrow, duty and joie de vivre, love and sacrifice. What will the pure-hearted zingarella choose?
Great historical composers and other personages make delightful and surprising appearances all throughout this emotionally intense and exalted novel, often verging on the realm of the supernatural, and considered by many to be George Sand's masterpiece.