Madame Bovary, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


With an Introduction by Roger Clark, University of Kent at Canterbury.

Translation by Eleanor Marx-Aveling. Castigated for offending against public decency, Madame Bovary has rarely failed to cause a storm.

For Flaubert's contemporaries, the fascination came from the novelist's meticulous account of provincial matters.

For the writer, subject matter was subordinate to his anguished quest for aesthetic perfection.

For his twentieth-century successors the formal experiments that underpin Madame Bovary look forward to the innovations of contemporary fiction. Flaubert's protagonist in particular has never ceased to fascinate.

Romantic heroine or middle-class neurotic, flawed wife and mother or passionate protester against the conventions of bourgeois society, simultaneously the subject of Flaubert's admiration and the butt of his irony - Emma Bovary remains one of the most enigmatic of fictional creations. Flaubert's meticulous approach to the craft of fiction, his portrayal of contemporary reality, his representation of an unforgettable cast of characters make Madame Bovary one of the major landmarks of modern fiction.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853260780

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Perhaps I've been reading too much classic literature lately, but I didn't find <I>Madame Bovary</I> all that special -- it probably didn't help that I read another novel with an affair of a similar nature in it, <I>Anna Karenina</i>, just now. In terms of characters, I found it quite realistic: I could believe in all of the characters. Emma, unable to find any satisfaction, quickly getting bored; Charles, a little dense, boring, loving; all the more minor characters. The descriptions of their lives felt realistic, too. But I found it hard to get absorbed in the story: probably because, despite recognising her as a well-written, realistic character, I don't identify with Emma Bovary at all.

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