Madame Bovary trial  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

On January 29[1], 1857, in a courtroom at Paris's imposing Palais de Justice, public prosecutor Ernest Pinard rose to make his case against Madame Bovary. The lawyer of Flaubert was Antoine Sénard.

The novel is a prime example of Realism, a fact which contributed to the trial for obscenity (which was a politically-motivated attack by the government on the liberal newspaper in which it was being serialized, La Revue de Paris). Flaubert, as the author of the story, does not comment directly on the moral character of Emma Bovary and abstains from explicitly condemning her adultery. This decision caused some to accuse Flaubert of glorifying adultery and creating a scandal.

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