Thu 2 Dec

Reading Group: A Simple Heart by Gustave Flaubert

Tribute to Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert’s A Simple Heart, published in 1877 as part of a collection Three Tales, and currently re-issued as a stand-alone, was quite revolutionary in its subject, at the time. Gustave Flaubert wrote this short story under encouragement from his good friend and author George Sand, to create a main protagonist which was very different to the satirical and corruptible characters in his previous novels, such as Madame Bovary.

The central character, possessor of that simple heart, is Félicité Barette. Félicité endures hardships in her early life often being beaten and wrongly accused of theft. Subsequently, she eventually goes to work for Madame Aubain as a cook, housemaid and nanny to her young children. Félicité undertakes her duties with the utmost dedication and remains in the employ of Madam Aubain for fifty years. Yet throughout the fifty years as a maid, Félicité establishes a special bond with a parrot and teaches him to speak.

A simple Heart is a testimony to women’s conditions in 1880’ France and it brings into focus the times class and gender differences.

A true classic which still resonates today!

Thu 2 Dec 7pm

1h30 | in English and French | £5 non-members, £3 members

(Re)discover his oeuvre in our library. Check out the online catalogue
 
See also Gustave Flaubert. The Fury of Writing Talk on 11 Dec

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