* 1821 Rouen
† 1880 Croisset
Gustave Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821, in Rouen, Normandy, the son of a respected surgeon. He began writing stories at a young age. On the insistence of his father, Flaubert began studying law in Paris in 1840. In January of 1844, he quit his studies after being afflicted with neuropathy. In 1846, he met the writer Louise Colet and fell in love with her. Flaubert's first published work, "Madame Bovary," appeared in 1857. The book became a scandalous success. After many travels, Flaubert returned to the small village of Croisset and to his recently widowed mother. Until the end of his life, he rarely left this tiny village. Gustave Flaubert died on May 8, 1880, in Croisset at the age of 58.