Cover: Flaubert, from Harvard University PressCover: Flaubert in HARDCOVER


Product Details


$35.00 • £30.95 • €31.95

ISBN 9780674737952

Publication Date: 10/17/2016


560 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

32 halftones

Belknap Press


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This generous study ingeniously builds a narrative around Flaubert’s own words—from not only the novels but also voluminous correspondence and unpublished work. Adding light background and analysis, Winock allows the mind of the Master to shine.The New Yorker

Winock’s achievement is to treat [Flaubert’s] works themselves with clarity and insight… This is a compelling account of a writer who, Winock reminds us, has become ‘an unavoidable reference’ in literary history.—Kate Rees, The Times Literary Supplement

It is stately and plump, like its subject, as well as thought-provoking. To be sure, [others] have in recent decades produced English-language biographies of Flaubert, but Winock has the depth of knowledge and familiarity with Flaubert’s times to add something new.—Benjamin Ivry, Literary Review

Others, like myself, will be grateful that it places Flaubert within the fevered history of his time.—Peter Brooks, The New York Review of Books

Winock’s many quotations from Flaubert’s early writings—his Memoirs of a Madman, written at school, his letters, Intimate Notebook, and [November]—will be a revelation to those, like me, who knew only the masterpieces… Winock, a historian by profession, is excellent at building up the political context of Flaubert’s life, particularly the back and forth between liberal revolution and reactionary repression.—Tim Parks, London Review of Books

What [Winock’s] biography really affirms is that practically all of the life in Flaubert is to be found in his work. This he documents with care, industry and insight. His discussions of the novels and letters are especially valuable and informative, and offer a suggestive sense of the ways in which his subject’s character relates to and informs his work. Flaubert would often ask himself why man’s heart felt so big when life felt so small. This book comes close to supplying an answer.—Matthew Adams, The Irish Times

Winock distinguishes himself as a biographer in his clear-eyed analysis of the fiction within its politically convulsive historical context… Winock [has a] readable style and talent for the great historical overview. In this way his biography can be welcomed by dedicated Flaubertians and twittering dilettantes alike.—Gregory Day, The Australian

It is precisely the historical background of Flaubert’s times, both its conscious and its invisible impingements on the writer’s sensibility, on which Winock is especially revelatory… Michel Winock has written a compelling and stylish biography, and Nicholas Elliott has brought it into English with flair and skill.—Bruce Whiteman, Hudson Review

[An] excellent new biography.—Leo Robson, New Statesman

The present volume offers a remarkable portrait of ‘the life of a man in his century.’ …[Winock] provide[s] a brilliant, sweeping view of the 19th century that allows for a far better understanding of both the major developments of the period (triumph of the bourgeoisie, industrialization, shift from constitutional monarchy to democratic republic) and the tangled life of the ‘Janus-faced,’ ‘conservative anarchist’ who was Flaubert.—C. B. Kerr, Choice

Noted French historian Winock’s biography succeeds in presenting a fresh portrait of a man plagued by paradoxes… Winock provides absorbing background related to the country’s social and political scenes that occurred during his subject’s lifetime.—Erica Swenson Danowitz, Library Journal

Michel Winock has written a great biography, bringing Flaubert down from his stylistic Olympus, to paint a portrait of a character grounded in history, pulsating with blood and life.—Grégoire Kauffmann, L’Express

Winock is a first rate historian, with a fine literary sensibility. This is an intelligent book, rich in references to contemporary opinions, containing lively evocations of literary figures, friends, and political events.—Victor Brombert, Princeton University

Well-researched, elegantly written, and particularly good in discussing Flaubert’s work as well as his life.—Roger Pearson, University of Oxford

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