About Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary

» Gustave Flaubert

Translator - Geoffrey Wall

Preface by - Michele Roberts

Introduction by - Geoffrey Wall

Notes by - Geoffrey Wall

Penguin Classics
Paperback : 30 Jan 2003

£8.99

New preface by Michèle Roberts
Translated with an introduction by Geoffrey Wall
Further reading and notes

Read an extract from: Madame Bovary

» Click here to read an extract from Madame Bovary

Synopsis

‘Oh, why, dear God, did I marry him?’

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent devourer of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment, and when real life continues to fail to live up to her romantic expectations the consequences are devastating. Flaubert’s erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: ‘Madame Bovary, c’est moi’.

This modern translation by Flaubert’s biographer, Geoffrey Wall, retains all the delicacy and precision of the French original. The edition also contains a preface by the novelist Michèle Roberts.




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Student Review by Madeleine Stottor, Nonsuch High School for Girls.

 

In Flaubert’s crushing study of nineteenth century provincial life, the young Emma Rouault is seduced by the novels she reads into a stultifying marriage with Charles Bovary, seeking her very own fairytale ending. As this eludes her time and time again, she rejects the unconditional devotion of her husband and her daughter for adulterous love affairs. Relishing in her deceit, Emma is an emotional, unpredictable and sometimes violent character, whose flaws make her simultaneously realistic and fantastic. The reader's sympathy for the amoral and selfish heroine waxes and wanes as frequently as her attention and affection.

Flaubert’s writing is so focused and poised as to lend Emma’s downfall a sense of inevitability. Each word feels carefully chosen and considered and this precision allows Flaubert to convey the passage of years in a mere paragraph, the vagueness of Emma’s dreams in a single sentence. When the novel was written, Flaubert said that he wanted his world to be felt “almost physically” by his readers; his use of detail somehow accomplishes this feat, enmeshing the reader in Emma’s web of lies and delusion.



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Product details

Format : Paperback
ISBN: 9780140449129
Size : 129 x 198mm
Pages : 384
Published : 30 Jan 2003
Publisher : Penguin Classics

Other formats for Madame Bovary:
» Paperback : £3.99
» Hardback : £14.99
» ePub eBook: eBook : £5.50
» ePub eBook: eBook : £11.99

Madame Bovary

» Gustave Flaubert

Translator - Geoffrey Wall

Preface by - Michele Roberts

Introduction by - Geoffrey Wall

Notes by - Geoffrey Wall

£8.99

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