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Letter from Gustave Flaubert to "Mon cher ami" [Henri-Félix Duquesnel]

Call Number: MS P741


In this brief letter written from his home in Croisset, France, the writer Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), is asking playwright and theatrical producer Henri-Félix Duquesnel to respond to an earlier letter.


  • November 6, 1871


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.


1 folder

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This letter, addressed to "Mon cher ami," was dated by Gustave Flaubert "lundi, 6 9bre" [i.e. Monday, 6 November. The practice of abbreviating "novembre" as "9bre" (the 9th month) dates from the Roman era and lingered in use long after 1582, when Pope Gregory changed the beginning of the calendar year to January 1.] A letter written by Flaubert to his niece Caroline on November 6, 1871 mentions his intention to write to Henri-Félix Duquesnel that same evening, thus identifying both the recipient and the year of the letter: "Comme je ne reçois aucune letter de Duquesnel, je vai lui écrire ce soir même pour savoir les affaires théatrales" (Bruneau, Jean (ed.) Flaubert Correspondance (Paris: Gallimard, 1998), vol. 4, pp. 406 and 1236).

Duquesnel was an author and theatre manager, and the letter concerns rehearsals for Louis Bouilhet's play, Madame Aissé, first performed January 6, 1872. Louis Bouilhet, a close friend and mentor of Flaubert, had died in 1869. Flaubert was involved in the posthumous publication and production of Bouilhet's poems and plays.

A transcription of Flaubert's letter reads: "Mon cher ami / j'aurais besoin. p.[our] mes petites affaires personnelles / de savoir le moment ou vous m'appellerez? - / et vous seriez bien aimable de me repondre / Tout á vous / G Flaubert / Croisset lundi 6-9bre."

Physical Location

MS P741

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Philadelphia Rare Books and Manuscripts, 2013.

Separated Materials

The letter was acquired with a copy of the first edition of Flaubert's novel, Madame Bovary (Paris: Michel Levy Freres, 1857), in which it was found loosely inserted. The novel can be found at Spencer Research Library at B12637.

Guide to the Gustave Flaubert Collection
Letter from Gustave Flaubert to "Mon cher ami" [Henri-Félix Duquesnel]
Finding aid prepared by imf, 2013. Finding aid encoded by imf, 2013. Finding aid revised by ksc, 2017.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Gustave Flaubert Collection, Special Collections, MS P741, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States