Monday, 12 April 2010

On this day...

Gustave Flaubert's 'Madame Bovary' was published in 1857. The novel had first been serialised in 'La Revue de Paris' the previous winter, sparking obscenity charges and resulting in a trial in January 1857. The plot follows Emma Bovary, as she embarks on numerous adulterous affairs to escape the triviality of life.

As so often occurs with banned literature, the case only increased the interest surrounding the novel, and following ita acquittal in February, the book went on to become a bestseller. Yet despite its success, five years of writing, and a label of one of the most influential novels of all time, the work only made Flaubert about 800 francs. Indeed a 2007 poll of contemporary authors, found 'Madame Bovary' to be the second greatest novel ever written, second only to Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina'.

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