Gustave Flaubert & George Sand Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence.
Translated from the French by Francis Steegmuller & Barbara Bray.
Based on the French edition by Alphonse Jacobs.
Knopf, 428 pages, $35
reviewed by Renee Winegarten
When, in 1866, after a literary dinner at Magny’s restaurant in Paris, the petite George Sand (née Aurore Dupin) confessed to a particular sympathy for a toweringly tall bachelor fellow guest, Gustave Flaubert, she was sixty-two, while he was in his early forties, a mere two years older than Maurice, her only son. True, her affections—and indeed passions—had frequently been engaged by men young enough to be Maurice’s siblings. Three years before, much to Flaubert’s gratification, she had written a laudatory review of his Carthaginian novel, Salammbô, whose gory exoticism had bemused the public....