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Gustave Flaubert Biography

(1821-1880) Gustave Flaubert was a French novelist. He's recognized as one of the greatest writers in world literature, well-known for the scandalous controversies of Madame Bovary. He's representative of Realism. He wanted to capture his subjects in truth. As he wrote: "If ever I play an active part in the world, it will be as a thinker and a demoralizer. I shall simply tell the truth, but it will be horrible, cruel and naked." It is that "horrible" truth that captured his readers' imaginations.


Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen. His family was wealthy, filled with doctors: his father was a surgeon, and his grandfather (on his mother's side) was a physician.


Gustave Flaubert attended the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Roen, and then studied law in Paris. He also began writing at an early age (8 years old), and was ever the perfectionist.

Flaubert failed his law exams and devoted himself to writing (related in part to the "nervous attack" which some have surmised could have been epilepsy.

Gustave Flaubert once wrote, "I am a creature of the quill. I feel through it, because of it, in relation to it, and much more with it."

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