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In her youth, Sand was considered scandalous for dressing in men's clothing, smoking and drinking in public. These behaviours were considered improper for all women at the time, but even moreso for members of the nobility like herself.
Margaret Schroeder quotes George Sand ("Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it.") when she comes late at night to Nucky's suite to return the money he gave her earlier in the day by way of his brother, Sheriff Eli Thompson. Nucky correctly guesses that the author is French, and it belongs to George Sand, a woman writing under a masculine pen name. She tells Nucky that when she worked as a maid in the house of a barrister back in Ireland her boss gave her freedom to read from his extensive library, which included works of Sand. ("The Ivory Tower")