Acclaimed by Italo Calvino as "one of the most extraordinary spirtual journeys ever accomplished outside any religion," Three Tales (1877) was the last of Flaubert's works published during his lifetime. The ambitious range of the stories -- "A Simple Heart," "The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller," and "Herodias" -- reaches from the author's own century back to the Middle Ages and to ancient Israel. "A Simple Heart," in Flaubert's own words, "is just the account of an obscure life, that of Felicite a poor country girl, pious but mystical, quietly devoted, and as tender as fresh bread... I want to arouse people's pity, to make sensitive souls weep, since I am one myself." The middle story, "The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller," tells of a bloodthirsty hunter and warrior whose attempts to escape a dire prophecy ultimately lead to a state of grace. "Herodias," the final tale, is based on the legends surrounding King Herod, Salome, and John the Baptist. It served as the inspiration for later interpretations, including Oscar Wilde's Salome and Jules Massenet's opera Herodiade. "To any modern writer, in whatever language," remarked Anthony Burgess of Three Tales, "these are recommended as a fundamental textbook of style." Book jacket.Flaubert, Gustave is the author of 'Three Tales' with ISBN 9780452010024 and ISBN 0452010020.