Madame Bovary BY Flaubert, Gustave

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert was banned in France and Flaubert was prosecuted and subsequently acquitted for "offenses against public morals" in 1857.

The editor of the Revue de Paris decided to edit and remove several passages of the novel in fear of offending the conservative Second Empire (1852-1870) of France. Flaubert stood his ground and the novel was eventually published (sans offending passages) in several installments. As anticipated by the editor, in 1857 the government banned the novel and Flaubert faced an obscenity trial at which he was charged with offending public morality. Flaubert?s counsel argued against the charges of ?outrage aux bonnes moeurs? by stating that by exposing vice, the author was promoting virtue. The charges were dropped on the ground that the offending passages were few in number compared with the extent of the whole work. Madame Bovary was subsequently published in two volumes in April of 1857.

That was not the end of the banning of Madame Bovary. It was banned in Italy in 1864 then again in the United States in 1954 by the National Organization of Decent Literature.