Aus der Sammlung Victor Niederhoffer

Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. Mœurs de province.

Paris, Michel Lévy Frères, 1857.

8vo (119 x 180 mm). 2 vols. (4), 232 pp. (4), 233-490 pp. Contemporary calf-backed pebbled brown cloth. Titled in gilt on spine, marbled endpapers, all edges speckled. Stored in custom-made brown cloth and leather clamshell case with gilt spine title.


First edition of Flaubert's most famous novel and masterwork of French literature in book form, following the censored serialized version in the "Revue de Paris" in 1856. A copy with the characteristics of the first edition, notably the "t" to Sénard's name at the head of the epistle.

Faubert could only move forward with the publication of "Madame Bovary" with Michel Lévy Frères after he was acquitted on 7 February 1857 in a trial accusing him of obscenity and immorality. Not only did the procurator of Paris object to the central theme of adultery, but he also cited the impartial realist style of the book itself in his prosecution of Flaubert. The scandal ultimately made Flaubert famous and "Madame Bovary" became a bestseller. Today, the book is considered a seminal work of literary modernism.


Contemporary ownership "Mme. Faye" in ink to endpaper or half-title of each volume; traces of her stamp on title-pages offset to verso of half-titles. Latterly in the collection of the U.S. hedge fund manager Victor Niederhoffer (b. 1943).


Bindings slightly rubbed. Occasional minor stains.


Carteret I, 263. Vicaire III, 721. En français dans le texte, 277.