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27 May 1993
Flaubert–Sand: The Correspondence 
translated by Barbara Bray.
HarperCollins, 428 pp., £20, March 1993, 0 00 217625 4
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Correspondence. Tome III: janvier 1859 – décembre 1868 
by Gustave Flaubert, edited by Jean Bruneau.
Gallimard, 1727 pp., frs 20, March 1991, 2 07 010669 1
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Madame Bovary: Patterns of Provincial Life 
by Gustave Flaubert, translated by Francis Steegmuller.
Everyman, 330 pp., £8.99, March 1993, 1 85715 140 2
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Madame Bovary 
by Gustave Flaubert, translated by Geoffrey Wall.
Penguin, 292 pp., £4.99, June 1992, 0 14 044526 9
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... to be set against any self-inflicted notion of him as a bear whose one mode of welcome to the encroaching world was the growl. The Flaubert-Sand Correspondence has been excellently translated by FrancisSteegmuller and Barbara Bray, and the work divided mimetically between them by gender, with Steegmuller doing Flaubert’s letters and Bray Sand’s. Just about everything that calls for it is ...

Dear Mole

Julian Barnes

23 January 1986
Flaubert and Turgenev: A Friendship in Letters 
translated by Barbara Beaumont.
Athlone, 197 pp., £18, October 1985, 0 485 11277 9
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... to Louise Colet: he spent much ink to stop her coming down to Croisset; now he begs constantly, and is often disappointed. Editing Flaubert puts you in with the big hitters: with Jean Bruneau and FrancisSteegmuller (not to mention Alphonse Jacobs, editor of the Flaubert-Sand letters). As a translator, Barbara Beaumont is workmanlike rather than exciting. For instance, is the famous, roaring ...
4 May 1989
Flaubert: A Biography 
by Herbert Lottman.
Methuen, 396 pp., £17.95, April 1989, 0 413 41770 0
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... interpreters, the dreamers, the wonky theorists got in there without the sifters and sorters having first done their business. Even the best biographers in English have either stopped half-way (like FrancisSteegmuller) or been too brief (like Philip Spencer); the most recommendable version of Flaubert’s life in recent years has been disguised as the two-volume Steegmuller edition of the Letters. Now ...
18 November 2010
Madame Bovary: Provincial Ways 
by Gustave Flaubert and Lydia Davis.
Penguin, 342 pp., £20, November 2010, 978 1 84614 104 1
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... as is the very latest, by the American short-story writer – and Proust translator – Lydia Davis. In between, most of the 15 or more versions have been made by men. The best-known of them are FrancisSteegmuller and Gerard Hopkins; and though Steegmuller did write some fiction – including mysteries under the name of David Keith – it’s a fair bet that Davis is the best fiction writer ever to ...

Juliet

D.J. Enright

18 September 1980
Flaubert and an English Governess 
by Hermia Oliver.
Oxford, 212 pp., £9.50, June 1980, 0 19 815764 9
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The Letters of Gustave Flaubert 1830-1857 
edited and translated by Francis Steegmuller.
Harvard, 270 pp., £7.50, March 1980, 0 674 52636 8
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... yet even so one must ask: is all this in a worthwhile cause? That Flaubert, as a writer and as the kind of writer he was, was born rather than made is plainly indicated by the first few letters in FrancisSteegmuller’s excellent new selection, the first of two volumes. The opening item, addressed to a schoolfriend and written on the eve of 1831, when Flaubert was nine, includes this: ‘I’ll also ...
27 February 1992
A Woman, a Man and Two Kingdoms: The Story of Madame d’Epinay and the Abbé Galiani 
by Francis Steegmuller.
Secker, 280 pp., £17.99, January 1992, 0 436 48978 3
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... than that the deepest works should spring from the deepest fears? It only begins to seem surprising because of the labelling which makes this an Age of Enlightenment. This is a lengthy approach to FrancisSteegmuller’s highly enjoyable A Woman, a Man and Two Kingdoms. But if I have a cavil about his book, it lies just here, and in his preface, where he describes his intentions. He takes as his text ...

On we sail

Julian Barnes: Maupassant

5 November 2009
Afloat 
by Guy de Maupassant, translated by Douglas Parmée.
NYRB, 105 pp., £7.99, 1 59017 259 0
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Alien Hearts 
by Guy de Maupassant, translated by Richard Howard.
NYRB, 177 pp., £7.99, December 2009, 978 1 59017 260 5
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... le de Burne in Maupassant’s last completed novel, Notre Coeur. Alien Hearts is its first new translation for a hundred years. The novel has never been much known or valued among Anglophone readers: FrancisSteegmuller, in his 1950 biography, called it ‘lamentable’, a term he also applied to Maupassant’s other high-life novel, Fort comme la mort. By their very subject matter they are set apart ...

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