Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert

[floh-bair; Fr. floh-ber]
Flaubert, Gustave, 1821-80, French novelist, regarded as one of the supreme masters of the realistic novel. He was a scrupulous, slow writer, intent on the exact word (le mot juste) and complete objectivity. The son of a surgeon, he studied law unsuccessfully in Paris and returned home to devote himself to writing. Because of a severe nervous malady, probably epilepsy, he spent much of his life at Croisset, near Rouen, with his mother and niece. Nonetheless, he also became an established figure in the Parisian social and literary world. In 1856, after five years of work, Flaubert published his masterpiece, Madame Bovary, in a Paris journal. Portraying the frustrations and love affairs of a romantic young woman married to a dull provincial doctor, the novel is written in a superbly controlled style. The book resulted in his being prosecuted on moral grounds, but he won the case. It was followed by Salammbô (1863), a meticulously documented novel of ancient Carthage; a revision of an earlier novel, L'Éducation sentimentale (1870); The Temptation of St. Anthony (1874); and Three Tales (1877), which contained the great short story "A Simple Heart." After his death his unfinished satire Bouvard and Pécuchet was published (1881). His correspondence, including that with George Sand and the letters to his niece Caroline, appeared in nine volumes (1926-33).

See The Selected Letters of Flaubert (ed. and tr. by F. Steegmuller, 1954); biographies by E. Starkie (Vol. I, 1967; Vol. II, 1971), G. Wall (2002), and F. Brown (2006); study by V. H. Brombert (1966); H. James, Notes on Novelists (1914), and F. Steegmuller, Flaubert and Madame Bovary (rev. ed. 1968).

Gustave Flaubert, detail of a drawing by E.F. von Liphart, 1880; in the Bibliothèque elipsis

(born Dec. 12, 1821, Rouen, France—died May 8, 1880, Croisset) French novelist. Flaubert abandoned law studies at age 22 for a life of writing. His masterpiece, Madame Bovary (1857), a sharply realistic portrayal of provincial bourgeois boredom and adultery, led to his trial (and narrow acquittal) on charges of immorality. His other novels include the exotic Salammbô (1862), set in ancient Carthage; A Sentimental Education (1869), a classic bildungsroman of disillusionment in a time of social and political change; and The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1874), notable for its depiction of spiritual torment. Trois Contes (1877) contains three novellas set in the ancient, medieval, and contemporary periods. Renowned for his lapidary style, he is regarded as the foremost exponent of French realism.

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The Pont Gustave-Flaubert (Gustave Flaubert Bridge) is a vertical lift bridge over the River Seine at Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France. It officially opened on 25 September 2008.


It is estimated to have cost 60 million euros to build.

Initial groundbreaking work on the bridge began in June 2004.

The Rouen city council chose the bridge's name on December 15th, 2006. The bridge is named after famous XIX century novelist Gustave Flaubert who was born in Rouen.


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