November 2016 | Nate Pedersen

Flaubert's Travel Diary at Auction

pierrebergebooks_1.jpgA meticulous travel diary kept by French novelist Gustave Flaubert while on a walking tour in Brittany in 1848 is among the highlights of an auction this afternoon at Sotheby's in Paris. The handwritten diary, full of notes, scratched out sections, and ink blotting, is expected to fetch upwards of $650,000. Flaubert experts consider the diary to offer unique insight into Flaubert's writing process, which he typically found arduous.

The travel diary was co-written with Flaubert's friend Maxime Du Camp while walking in Brittany under the idea that Flaubert would write the odd-number chapters while Du Camp would write the even-number chapters. The 277 page manuscript, however, was never published.

Today's sale is the second part of the library of French industrialist Pierre Bergé' this installment focusing on European literature in 376 lots. Other highlights include first or rare editions by Goethe, the Marquis de Sade, Wordsworth, Hans Christian Andersen, Balzac, Dumas, Sand, Keats, Marx, Pushkin, Schopenhauer, Shelley, Stendhal, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, and Wilde.

[Image from Sotheby's]