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Free Study Guide-Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert-Free Book Notes
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Minor Characters

Monsieur Charles Bovary

Charles' father. He is a more dashing figure than his son, but does not have much professional success in his lifetime.

Madame Bovary, senior

Charles' mother. She is a dominating woman who arranges Charles' first marriage. She cannot tolerate Emma and often quarrels with her son on this account.

Madame Héloïse Dubuc

Charles' first wife. A supposedly rich widow, she is much older than Charles. She dies soon after their marriage.


The daughter of Charles and Emma Bovary.


The first maid of the Bovarys, at Tostes.

Monsieur Rouault

Emma's father. He is a good-natured man who leads a sufficiently comfortable life at Les Bertaux. His love for Emma is evident until the end. He is one of the few characters who is etched sympathetically.

The Marquis d' Andervilliers

A former secretary of state who is preparing for the parliamentary elections. Charles and Emma are invited to La Vaubyessard, his home.

The Viscount

One of the guests at the party at La Vaubyessard. Emma dances with him at the ball and cherishes those memories for life.


The maid who replaces Nastasie. She stays with Emma until the end.


The grave keeper at Yonville.

Widow Lefrançois

The owner of the Golden Lion Inn at Yonville.


The driver of the stagecoach, the Hirondelle.

Monsieur Binet

The tax collector at Yonville. An old soldier, he is punctual and rigid in attitude.

Abbé Bournisien

The curé (priest) at Yonville. He is dedicated to his task but tends to stress the trivial and neglect the more serious matters of conscience. Therefore, he fails to serve his parishioners. His insensitivity is brought out on several occasions.


A patient of Charles. It is his foot that Charles, at the urging of Homais and Emma, operates on unsuccessfully. His left leg has to be amputated, due to the gangrene that sets in after the operation.

Monsieur Guillaumin

A lawyer. He is Leon's employer at Yonville. Emma seeks his help when she faces financial ruin.


Homais' assistant. He loves Emma in secret. Ironically, he becomes a direct agent of her death, for he leads her to the arsenic jar.

Monsieur Lieuvain

The Prefect's deputy, who attends the Yonville fair. His speech, praising agricultural progress and middle-class values, is juxtaposed with Rodolphe's verbal wooing of Emma. Through this, Flaubert achieves a delightful comic irony.


The mayor of Yonville.

Catherine Leroux

An old peasant. At the fair she is honored for her fidelity and dedicated service. Her character contrasts with that of Emma's.

Napoleon, Athalie, Irma and Franklin

Homais' children.

Monsieur Canivet

A doctor from the neighboring town of Neufchâtel. He amputates Hippolyte's leg after Charles' corrective surgery fails. He is also called in during Emma's final moments.

Dr. Lariviere

A respected doctor from Rouen. He is consulted when Emma commits suicide. He is talented and hardworking, "hospitable," "generous" and "like a father to the poor." His is perhaps the only character with no overtly negative shades.

Mademoiselle Lempereur

A music teacher at Rouen. Emma goes to meet Leon under the pretext of taking music lessons from her.

Monsieur Vincart

A banker at Rouen. He is Lheureux's friend.

Maitre Bocage

Leon's employer in Rouen.

Maitre Hareng

The bailiff.

Madame Homais

Homais' wife.

Edgar Lagardy

The hero of the opera that the Bovarys attend in Rouen. Emma's fantasy about him culminates in her affair with Leon.

The blind beggar

A repulsive old tramp whose physical deformities parallel Emma's indiscretions. He appears during Emma's journeys between Yonville and Rouen, and he is also heard singing at the time of her death; he always has a powerful effect on the tragic heroine. He attains symbolic proportions because he heralds death for Emma.

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