Flaubert, Gustave (1821–80), French novelist. He was a scrupulous observer and stylist whose work influenced much subsequent French writing. His first work, Madame Bovary (1856–57), brought him immediate fame. The vividly naturalistic tragedy of a provincial wife who attempts to live out her fantasies, it was unsuccessfully prosecuted as an offense against public morality in 1857. The exotic Carthaginian setting of Salammbô (1862) showed an equal mastery of romantic style. His Three Tales (1877), set in modern, medieval, and ancient times, combined both romanticism and realism.