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Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert

 Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen, France, in 1821 into a bourgeois family background, which he soon rebelled against. He started writing from an early age but had a very rebellious attitude at school and was expelled. He studied Law in Paris but in 1844, he was diagnosed as suffering a "nervous disease" (it could have been epilepsy) which he saw as a threat to his faculties, and this changed his life. He failed his university exams and decided to devote himself to writing. His father helped him do so by buying him a house on the river Seine. In 1846, he started an affair with the writer Louise Collet, which ended in 1855. After the death of both his father and his married sister, Flaubert moved to the family home in Croisset, where he wrote all of his books, and lived with his mother until the age of 50. Between November 1849 and April 1851, he travelled with the writer Maxime du Camp. Together, they visited North Africa, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, etc. On his return, he started writing "Madame Bovary", which took 5 years to finish. It first appeared in "Revue de Paris" in 1856 and in a two-volume book the following year. The realistic depiction of adultery was condemned as offensive to morality and religion and Flaubert was prosecuted, but he escaped conviction. In the 1860's, Flaubert enjoyed success as a writer and intellectual at the court of Napoleon III, counting Zola and George Sand amongst his close friends. His non-literary life was marked by his prodigious appetite for prostitutes, which occasionally led to veneral infections. His last years were shadowed by financial worries. His style, in which the writer should not judge, teach or explain, but remain neutral, gained him great appraisal by the new school of naturalism. Some of his greatest works include "Salammbô" and "L'éduaction sentimentale". He spent the last few years of his life nicknamed "hermit of Croisset" and died in relative poverty on 8 May 1880.

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Italian : Classics/Modern Classics

Adolescent/Adult

031780 L'educazione sentimentale £10.95  
036521 Madame Bovary £9.60  
030731 Madame Bovary £9.95  

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