This 1982 book offers an evaluation of one of Flaubert's major and most controversial novels. Dr Green begins by discussing the nineteenth-century debate about the relation between history and fiction, and examines Flaubert's distinctive responses to it. Then, through a detailed study of the manuscript plans for Salammbo, she shows how Flaubert worked to develop a new kind of historical novel. She shows the balance in his work between careful historical research and imaginative reconstruction; she charts how he modified, amplified, or omitted certain elements in the sources, and suggests his reasons for doing so. The result is a case history of the historical novelist's imagination at work, and one which indicates illuminating perspectives with this area of research. Instead of escaping into a vanished world of the past, Flaubert drew on contemporary French social, political, and economic issues in his recreation of a distant and decadent civilisation nearing its end.