Background to Flaubert’s Madame Bovary Read pp. 852-858 of Literature: World Masterpieces for some background to 19th C. Europe.
In pairs, take notes on the artistic movements Romanticism (pp. 857-58 ) and Realism (p. 858).
Gustave Flaubert Biography
1821 Flaubert born in Rouen: father surgeon, mother was doctor's daughter;
1847 walking tour of the Loire and Brittany's coast
1849-51 travels with Maxime du Camp through the middle east, Egypt, Greece, Italy
1851 began work on Madame Bovary
1857 Madame Bovary published after five years’ work
Flaubert’s philosophical influences: pessimism, nihilism, the unknown; science and religion as two poles of thought
hate of the bourgeois, middle class ideology and way of life (despite very much being bourgeois himself); decried bourgeois institutions like marriage (viewed his sister’s husband as “mediocrity incarnate”)