Guy De Maupassant is considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents. The story "Boule de Suif" written in 1880 is his masterpiece. A protege of Flaubert, Maupassant's stories are characterized by their economy of style and efficient, effortless dénouements. Many of the stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s and several describe the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught in the conflict, emerge changed. He authored some 300 short stories.