According to Wikipedia: Salammbo (1862) is a historical novel by Gustave Flaubert that interweaves historical and fictional characters. the action takes place immediately before and during the Mercenary Revolt against Carthage in the third century BC. Flaubert's main source was Book I of Polybius's Histories. It was not a particularly well-studied period of history and required a great deal of work from the author, who enthusiastically left behind the realism of his masterpiece Madame Bovary for this tale of blood-and-thunder. the book, which Flaubert researched painstakingly, is largely an exercise in sensuous and violent exoticism. Following the success of Madame Bovary, it was another best-seller and sealed his reputation. the Carthaginian costumes described therein even left traces on the fashions of the time. Nevertheless, in spite of its classic status in France, it is practically unknown today among English-speakers.
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B & R Samizdat Express
March 01, 2010
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