In a vibrant new translation, these three diverse works are a triumphant conclusion to Flaubert's creative life
First published in 1877, these three stories are dominated by questions of doubt, love, loneliness, and religious experience—together they confirm Flaubert as a master of the short story. “A Simple Heart” relates the story of Félicité, an uneducated serving-woman who retains her Catholic faith despite a life of desolation and loss. “The Legend of Saint Julian Hospitator,” inspired by a stained-glass window in Rouen cathedral, describes the fate of a sadistic hunter destined to murder his own parents. The blend of faith and cruelty that dominates this story may also be found in “Herodias,” a reworking of the tale of Salome and John the Baptist.