“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
About Gustave Flaubert
Gustave Flaubert (12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880) was an influential French novelist who was perhaps the leading exponent of literary realism in his country. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary (1857), for his Correspondence, and for his scrupulous devotion to his style and aesthetics. The celebrated short story writer Guy de Maupassant was a protégé of Flaubert.
Flaubert was born on 12 December 1821, in Rouen, in the Seine-Maritime department of Upper Normandy, in northern France. He was the second son of Anne Justine Caroline (1793–1872) and Achille-Cléophas Flaubert (1784–1846), director and senior surgeon of the major hospital in Rouen. He began writing at an early age, as early as eight according to some sources.
He was educated at the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen, and did not leave until 1840, when he went to Paris to study law. In Paris, he was an indifferent student and found the city distasteful. He made a few acquaintances, including Victor Hugo. Toward the end of 1840, he traveled in the Pyrenees and Corsica. In 1846, after an attack of epilepsy, he left Paris and abandoned the study of law.
With his lifelong friend Maxime Du Camp, he traveled in Brittany in 1846. In 1849–50 he went on a long journey to the Middle East, visiting Greece and Egypt. In Beirut he contracted syphilis. He spent five weeks in Istanbul in 1850. He visited Carthage in 1858 to conduct research for his novel Salammbô.
The 1870s were a difficult time for Flaubert. Prussian soldiers occupied his house during the War of 1870, and his mother died in 1872. After her death, he fell into financial difficulty due to business failures on the part of his niece’s husband. Flaubert suffered from venereal diseases most of his life. His health declined and he died at Croisset of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1880 at the age of 58. He was buried in the family vault in the cemetery of Rouen. A monument to him by Henri Chapu was unveiled at the museum of Rouen.
(Source – Wikipedia)