"Madame Bovary is like the railroad stations erected in its epoch: graceful, even floral, but cast of iron." -- John Updike
Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen in 1821. After illness interrupted a career in law, he retired to live with his widowed mother and devote himself to writing. He achieved limited success in his own lifetime, but his fame and reputation grew steadily after his death in 1880. Geoffrey Wall teaches French at the University of York. His biography of Flaubert has been translated into four languages. Michele Roberts is the half-English half-French writer of ten highly praised novels.