The last work written by Flaubert that was not quite complete by his death in 1880, "Bouvard and Pecuchet" is his characteristically satirical work revolving around two Parisian copy-clerks. Though they meet on a park bench in the middle of a hot summer day, their friendship grows to a remarkable degree, so much so that when one receives an unexpected inheritance, they both decide to dedicate themselves to the exploration of ideas in the countryside. What follows is an episodic, picaresque-like pursuit of various subjects, in which Bouvard and Pecuchet are repeatedly disappointed. After the initial grief of each endeavor they move on to the next, demonstrating to perfection the weaknesses Flaubert himself saw in the sciences and arts of his day. Perpetual beginners who obtain no true achievement, even after years have elapsed, the tension builds in both their failing explorations and in their relations with the local villagers. Interwoven with the taut political situation of the nineteenth century, this work finally comes full circle when Bouvard and Pecuchet decide to return to the world of copying. Written with great deliberation in the hopes of creating his masterpiece, Flaubert poured all of his best writing into the remarkable and revealing "Bouvard and Pecuchet."