‘Bouvard and Pécuchet’ (1881) was written by the great French author Gustave Flaubert, famous for his scandalous best-selling novel ‘Madame Bovary’. Although unfinished at the time of his passing, this posthumous novel is now considered one of Flaubert s masterpieces. Two retired Parisian clerks, Bouvard and Pécuchet, set out on a quest for truth and knowledge, but despite constant failure, the pair continue their symbolic adventure with dogged optimism.A humorous, gripping satire that touches on politics, love, and religion, ‘Bouvard and Pécuchet’ is Flaubert at his best.Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) was a French novelist, regarded as one of the great Western writers and a leading exponent of literary realism in France. A hugely influential figure, he is best known for his debut novel ‘Madame Bovary’ (1857) which caused a nationwide scandal upon publication with its realistic portrayal of bourgeois life. The historical novel ‘Salammbô’ and the painting-inspired ‘The Temptation of Saint Anthony’ are some of his other well-known works. Many of Flaubert’s stories have since been adapted for TV and film including ‘Madame Bovary’ (2000) starring Hugh Bonneville.