Two editions of the French text of Madame Bovary may be recommended:
(i) ed. Mark Overstall ( London, Harrap, 1979), introduction and notes in English
(ii) ed. Claudine Gothot-Mersch ( Paris, Garnier, 1971), the standard French critical edition
Readers who have enjoyed Madame Bovary should go on to try L'Éducation sentimentale, Trois contes, and perhaps Bouvard et Pécuchet; all are available in paperback English translations. Salammbô and La Tentation de Saint Antoine are for addicts.
A selection of Flaubert's letters is presented in Francis Steegmuller's The Letters of Gustave Flaubert 1830-1857 ( Cambridge, Mass., and London, Harvard University Press, 1980); it is from this translation that most of the passages quoted above in the Introduction have been taken. The most up-to-date and informative biography of Flaubert is Herbert Lottmann's Flaubert: a Biography ( London, Methuen, 1989).
Three essays on Flaubert by Henry James, first published in 1876, 1893 and 1902, provide a good starting-point for critical reading on Flaubert and an interesting picture of the development of James's ideas. The whole of the substantial 1902 essay, originally an introduction to a translation of Madame Bovary, and sections of the other two relevant to this novel, may be found in Henry James: The Critical Muse. Selected Literary Criticism ( Penguin, 1987). Among more recent studies in English, the following (in chronological order of publication) are recommended:
Thorlby, Anthony, Gustave Flaubert and the Art of Realism ( London, Bowes and Bowes, 1956)
Ullman, Stephen, Style in the French Novel ( Oxford, Blackwell, 1960)
Fairlie, Alison, Flaubert: Madame Bovary ( London, Edward Arnold, 1962)
Levin, Harry, The Gates of Horn: a Study of Five French Realists ( New York, Oxford University Press, 1963)
Bart, B. F, Madame Bovary and the Critics: a Collection of Essays ( New York University Press, 1966)
Brombert, Victor, The Novels of Flaubert: a Study of Themes and Techniques ( Princeton University Press, 1966)
Steegmuller, Francis, Flaubert and Madame Bovary (revised edition) ( London and Melbourne, Macmillan, 1968)