Madame Bovary (by Gustave Flaubert)

Flaubert, Gustave

Gustave Flaubert (güstäv´ flōbĕr´), 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 (2 vol., 1967–71), H. Lottman (1989), G. Wall (2002), F. Brown (2006), and M. Winock (2016); study by V. H. Brombert (1966); H. James, Notes on Novelists (1914), and F. Steegmuller, Flaubert and Madame Bovary (rev. ed. 1968).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Madame Bovary (by Gustave Flaubert): Selected full-text books and articles

Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town By Gustave Flaubert; Gerard Hopkins Oxford University Press, 1998
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1988
Librarian's tip: This is a book of literary criticism
Emma Bovary By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1994
Realism in Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary By Agarwal, Ritu R IUP Journal of English Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, March 2012
Rethinking Madame Bovary's Motives for Committing Suicide By Paskow, Jacqueline Merriam The Modern Language Review, Vol. 100, No. 2, April 2005
Educating Emma: A Genetic Analysis of Reading in Madame Bovary By Hurlburt, Sarah Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Vol. 40, No. 1-2, Fall-Winter 2011
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Emma versus the Proprieties: Censorship, Self-Censorship, and Revision in Madame Bovary By Olmsted, William The Romanic Review, Vol. 101, No. 4, November 2010
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Flaubert's "Mystery Play": A Day in the Life of Madame Bovary By Rogers, Peter S Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature, Vol. 57, No. 2, Winter 2005
Breaking the Chain: Women, Theory, and French Realist Fiction By Naomi Schor Columbia University Press, 1985
Librarian's tip: Chap. I "For a Restricted Thematics: Writing, Speech, and Difference in Madame Bovary"
The "Dangerous" Potential of Reading: Readers and the Negotiation of Power in Nineteenth-Century Narratives By Ana-Isabel Aliaga-Buchenau Routledge, 2003
Librarian's tip: Chap. Seven "A Little Woman Gone Astray: Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary"
Rhetoric: Readings in French Literature By Michael Hawcroft Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian's tip: "The Trial of Madame Bovary" begins on p. 47
Money: Lure, Lore, and Literature By John Louis Digaetani Greenwood Press, 1994
Librarian's tip: Chap. 15 "Economics as Lure in Madame Bovary"
Vital Signs: Medical Realism in Nineteenth-Century Fiction By Lawrence Rothfield Princeton University Press, 1992
Librarian's tip: Chap. Two "Disarticulating Madame Bovary: Flaubert and the Medicalization of the Real"
The Novel in France: Mme de la Fayette, Laclos, Constant, Stendhal, Balzac, Flaubert, Proust By Martin Turnell New Directions, 1951
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Madame Bovary begins on p. 258
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