Rouen appears repeatedly in Madame Bovary, Flaubert’s most famous novel. This meticulously written story of marital infidelity caused a storm at the time, though the plot isn’t quite so sensational by today’s standards. In the early pages of the novel, Charles Bovary goes to school in Rouen. Emma, who becomes Madame Bovary when she marries Charles, attends a convent in Rouen and later obtains her wedding trousseau from the town.
In the centre of Rouen there is a full length bronze statue of Gustave Flaubert in the leafy, cafe-filled Place des Carmes.