It is the birthday of Gustave Flaubert who said of his craft: "It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the red sun that made them almost close their love-drowned eyes."
His most famous book, Madame Bovary (1856), tells the story of Emma, a stuffy doctor's passionate wife, who is dissatisfied with her life and filled with the notion that much more awaits her...somewhere. She has two ill fated long-term affairs, becomes plagued by debt, and, finding no way out, takes her own life with arsenic. It was banned by the French government as being offensive to the religious and public morality of the day. France....?