Table of Contents
FROM THE PAGES OF
Never before had he seen more lustrous dark skin, a more seductive figure, or more delicately shaped fingers than those through which the sunlight gleamed. He stared with amazement at her work-basket, as if it were something extraordinary. What was her name, her home, her life, her past? (page 9)
“Without ideas, there is no greatness; without greatness there is no beauty. Olympus is a mountain. The most astonishing monument will always be the Pyramids. Exuberance is better than taste; the desert is better than a sidewalk, and a savage is better than a hairdresser!” (page 54)
The dinners started again; and the more visits he paid at Madame Arnoux’s, the more his lovesickness increased. The contemplation of this woman had an enervating effect upon him, like the use of a perfume that is too strong. It penetrated into the very depths of his nature, and became almost a kind of habitual sensation, a new mode of existence. (page 78)
He displayed high spirits on the occasion. Madame Arnoux was now with her mother at Chartres. But he would soon come across her again, and would end by being her lover. (page 98)
“What are you to do in an age of decadence like ours? Great painting has gone out of fashion!” (page 126)
There was a look of peculiar sadness in Madame Arnoux’s face. Was it to keep him from further reference to the memories they shared? (page 152)
Then began for Frédéric a miserable existence. He became the parasite of the house. (page 191)
“So happiness is impossible?” (page 223)
Then, forgetting his own troubles, he talked about the affairs of the nation, the crosses of the Legion d’honneur wasted at the Royal Fête, the question of a change of ministry, the Drouillard case and the Bénier case—scandals of the day—denounced the middle class, and predicted a revolution. (page 243)
And they pictured a life entirely devoted to love, sufficiently rich to fill up the most vast solitude, surpassing all other joys, defying all sorrows; in which the hours would glide away in a continual out-pouring of their own emotions, and which would be as bright and glorious as the shimmering splendour of the stars. (page 303)
“Spare nothing, ye rich; but give! give!” (page 337)
Four barricades at the ends of four different routes formed enormous sloping ramparts of paving-stones. Torches were glimmering here and there. In spite of the rising clouds of dust he could distinguish infantrymen and National Guards, all with their faces blackened, disheveled, and haggard. (page 373)
This event was a calamity which, in the first place, put off their separation, and, next, upset all his plans. The notion of being a father, moreover, appeared to him grotesque, unthinkable. (page 402)
“Have you twelve thousand francs to lend me?” (page 452)
“I would have liked to make you happy!” (page 473)
Published by Barnes & Noble Books 122 Fifth Avenue
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was first published in 1869.
D. F. Hannigan’s English translation appeared in 1898.
Published in 2006 by Barnes & Noble Classics with new Introduction,
Notes, Biography, Chronology, Inspired By, Comments & Questions, and For Further Reading.
Introduction, Notes, and For Further Reading
Copyright © 2006 by Claudie Bernard.
Note on Gustave Flaubert, The World of Gustave Flaubert and
Sentimental Education, Inspired by Sentimental Education,
and Comments & Questions
Copyright © 2006 by Barnes & Noble, Inc.
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ISBN-10: 1-59308-306-8 ISBN-13: 978-1-59308-306-9
eISBN : 978-1-411-43315-1
LC Control Number 2005907805
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Gustave Flaubert was born in 1821 in Rouen, France. His father, a respected surgeon, raised his family in quarters near the hospital where he worked. Gustave was a deeply romantic young man, and he developed an early and permanent disdain for the life of the French bourgeoisie. Its banalities and exigencies trapped him for a time, as he was encouraged to study law, like many a respectable bourgeois son. However, in 1844 his schooling in Paris came to an abrupt halt when he had a series of health problems resulting in seizures and a coma. These attacks, now thought to be symptoms of epilepsy, required Flaubert to leave school and return to the provinces. Established on his estate in Croisset, he dedicated himself to his true passion—literature.
Flaubert’s convalescence was soon disrupted. His father died in January 1846, and his beloved sister, Caroline, who had recently given birth, died six weeks later. In his mid-twenties, Flaubert became head of a household that now included his mother and his sister’s daughter. Although the three lived a placid country life together for many years, Flaubert often visited Paris, where he fell in love with Louise Colet, cultivated a friendship with writer and photographer Maxime du Camp, and witnessed the Revolution of 1848. He worked for many years on a novel,
The Temptation of Saint Anthony
(finally published in 1874), that in its early drafts was criticized by his friends for being overly romantic.
Upon returning in 1851 from a tour of the Near East, he began a novel in which he experimented with a new narrative style. Working tirelessly for almost five years, taking great care over each sentence, Flaubert composed his masterpiece,
the story of a disenchanted provincial wife. When it was published (in installments in 1856, in book form in 1857)
caused a sensation; its frank depiction of adultery landed Flaubert in the courts on charges of moral indecency. Exonerated, the author became a respected frequenter of the Parisian salons, was awarded the French Legion of Honor, and formed friendships with George Sand, Émile Zola, and Guy de Maupassant.
Although he continued to visit Paris frequently, Flaubert lived for most of the year in Croisset, where he wrote and revised his works, and amassed an astonishing body of correspondence. He is also remembered for his novels
(1869) and for the collection
(1877). Financial troubles beset him late in his life, and he spent his final years somewhat isolated and impoverished. Gustave Flaubert died on May 8, 1880, in Croisset.
THE WORLD OF GUSTAVE FLAUBERT AND
|1821||Gustave Flaubert is born on December 12 in Rouen, France. His father is a surgeon and medical professor; his mother is from a distinguished provincial bourgeois family.|
|1824||Flaubert’s sister, Caroline, is born.|
|1829||Honoré de Balzac publishes Les|
his first literary success and the earliest of his works to be included in what he later will call La
Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy).
appears, as does Stendhal’s
Le Rouge et le Noir
The Red and the Black).
The July Revolution results in the abdication of King Charles X and the establishment of the “citizen king” Louis-Philippe.
Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
|1832||Gustave enters school at the College Royal in Rouen; he studies the ancient Greeks and Romans, and favors such Romantic writers as Goethe, Byron, Chateaubriand, and Hugo.|
appears. Jules Michelet publishes the first volume of his monumental
Histoire de France (History of France);
the seventeen-volume work will be completed in 1867.
|1836||Flaubert falls deeply in love with Elisa Schlesinger, eleven years his senior; he later will take her as his model for several of his literary heroines.|
|1837||An avid writer from an early age, Flaubert publishes two stories.|
|1840-1841||He begins studying law in Paris.|
|1844||Flaubert has his first “nervous” attack, probably an epileptic seizure. The resulting coma and further illness cause him to abandon his legal studies for the life of a writer at his estate in Croisset, on the River Seine between Paris and Rouen.|
Le Comte de Monte Cristo (The Count of Monte Cristo),
by Alexandre Dumas (père), is published.
|1845||Flaubert completes the first version of|
L‘Education sentimentale (Sentimental Education).
His beloved sister, Caroline, marries.
|1846||Flaubert’s father dies in January, and Caroline dies in March. Devastated, Flaubert sets up house in Croisset with his mother and Caroline’s infant daughter—a living arrangement that will persist for the next twenty-five years. During a visit to Paris, Flaubert meets the poet Louise Colet, who becomes his mistress.|
|1847||Flaubert and writer and photographer Maxime du Camp take a walking tour along the River Loire and the Brittany coast. The journal Flaubert keeps during this tour will be published posthumously (1886) as|
Par les champs et par les grèves (Over the Fields and Over the Shores).
|1848||In Paris, Flaubert witnesses the Revolution and the establishment of the French Second Republic. After some months of political turmoil, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte is elected president.|
|1849||The manuscript of La|
Tentation de Saint Antoine (The Temptation of Saint Anthony)
is criticized by Flaubert’s friends for its overly Romantic style. Later in the year, Flaubert journeys to the Near East with du Camp.
|1850||Eugène Delacroix paints the ceiling of the Louvre’s Galerie d’Apollon (Gallery of Apollo).|
|1851||Back in Croisset, Flaubert begins writing|
painstaking process that will last almost five years. Gérard de Nerval’s
Voyage en Orient (Voyage to the East)
|1852||Having staged a coup late in 1851, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte seizes the monarchy as Napoleon III and establishes the French Second Empire.|
|1853||Georges Haussmann begins redesigning the streets, parks, and other physical aspects of Paris.|
|1855||Flaubert and Louise Colet end their relationship.|
|1856||Late in the year,|
appears in installments in the
Revue de Paris.
|1857||Flaubert is brought to trial for the novel’s alleged moral indecency but is exonerated.|
is published in book form. Charles Baudelaire’s
Les Fleurs du Mal (Tbe Flowers of Evil)
is published; Baudelaire is tried and fined for the content of his work.
|1858||A trip to Tunisia provides Flaubert with inspiration for|
a novel about ancient Carthage.
is published. Flaubert begins to spend more time in Paris, cultivating friendships with George Sand, Émile Zola, and Ivan Turgenev. Hugo’s
|1866||Respected by the court of Napoleon III, Flaubert is made a knight in the French Legion of Honor.|
|1867||The mother of the young Guy de Maupassant is a friend of Flaubert and introduces her son to the author.|
|1870-1871||The Franco-Prussian War leads to the end of the French Second Empire and establishment of the Third Republic. When de Maupassant returns from military service in the war, he begins a literary apprenticeship with Flaubert, who coaches him in his writing and introduces him to other leading writers.|
|1872||Flaubert’s mother dies.|
Une Saison en Enfer (A Season in Hell)
and Jules Verne’s
Le Tour du monde
quatre-vingt jours (Around the World in Eighty Days)
|1874||The production of Flaubert’s play|
Le Candidat (The Candidate)
is a failure.
La Tentation de Saint Antoine is
|1877||Trois Contes (Three Stories)|
is published. Émile Zola’s
L‘Assommoir (The Dram Shop
|1880||Gustave Flaubert dies, suddenly and unexpectedly, in Croisset on May 8.|
Bouvard et Pecuchet,
unfinished when Flaubert died, is published.