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Flaubert: A Life

Gustave Flaubert, whose Madame Bovary outraged France's right-thinking bourgeoisie when it was first published in 1836, is brought to life in Frederick Brown's new biography in all his singularity and brilliance. Frederick Brown's portrayal is of an artist fraught with contradictions - his wit and bravado coexisting with great vulnerability. A sedentary man by nature, Flaubert undertook epic voyages through Egypt and the Middle East. He could be flamboyantly uncouth, but was frantically devoted to a beautifully cadenced prose. While energized by his camaraderie with male friends, who included Turgenev, the Goncourt brothers, Zola and Maupassant, he depended for emotional nurturing upon maternal women, most notably George Sand. His mistresses - French, Egyptian, and English - fed his richly erotic imagination and found their way into his fictional characters. ineteenth-century France literally put Flaubert on trial for portraying 'lewd behaviour' in Madame Bovary. But it also made him a celebrity and, indirectly, brought about his financial ruin, probably hastening his sudden death at the age of fifty-nine. Although writing was something like torture for him, it preoccupied his mi
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Promotional Information

From the author of the acclaimed Zola: A Life, another magnificent portrait of a writer and his age.

About the Author

Frederick Brown is Emeritus Professor of French at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He is the author of acclaimed biographies of Zola and Cocteau. Professor Brown lives in New York City.


"Magnificent... Brown's biography will clearly be the Life for this generation" -- James Wood * Scotsman * "Frederick Brown, as might be expected of the biographer of Zola, -is at his strongest when dealing with the social and political background to Flaubert's life...This is the biography which will best help us to understand Flaubert's reactions to the ceaseless political turmoil of his life" -- Julian Barnes * New York Review of Books * "Very rewarding... few men have been more truly extraordinary than Flaubert, to whom Brown takes us as close as it is possible to be other than in the flesh... The best biographies are fine books, and this is one of the very best. It leaves the reader with a whole world to think about and an enlivened mind with which to do the thinking" * Literary Review * "Wonderfully rich and enjoyable" * Sunday Telegraph * "Brown's book will win Flaubert many new or returning readers... Funny, racy, gossipy and erudite by turns." * Daily Telegraph *

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