Flaubert and Churchill Biographies

RICHARD: You know what else I noticed?
RORY: What?
RICHARD: A first edition Flaubert, mint condition, shoved behind several of my Churchill biographies.

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist [pictured]. Highly influential, he is considered the leading exponent of literary realism in France. He is especially famous for his debut novel, Madame Bovary (1857), previously discussed.

Richard never specifies which book he has a first edition of, but fans often assume it is Madame Bovary, since Rory likes it. A first edition of even the English translation would cost tens of thousands of dollars, making this very unlikely. However, the first edition of the English translation of Three Tales (1877), published by Chatto and Windus in 1923, can be picked up for as little as $50, and is a very handsome volume. This would be my pick for Richard’s first edition.

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British statesman who served as Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945, and then again from 1951 to 1955. He is especially famous for his inspiring wartime speeches, and is considered one of the most significant figures of the twentieth century.

Richard does not say whether he means biographies by Churchill or about him, but probably the latter, since Churchill only wrote two biographies (not several, although Richard could have multiple copies of each).

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