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On this day: April 12

POSTED: 02:42 PM PDT Apr 09, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT Apr 11, 2013 

The American Civil War begins, FDR dies, a Soviet cosmonaut becomes the first human to travel into space, and the first space shuttle lifts off, all on this day.

OTD April 12 - Madame Bovary
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Public domain

1857: Gustave Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" is published. The story focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. Flaubert's first novel became a bestseller quickly due to its notoriety. After the book had been released the previous year in serial form, Flaubert had been put on trial by public prosecutors for the book's alleged obscenity and acquitted.

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