Madame Bovary (Collins Classics)

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9780007420308: Madame Bovary (Collins Classics)

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‘…for her, life was as cold as an attic with a window looking to the north, and ennui, like a spider, was silently spinning its shadowy web in every cranny of her heart.’

Married to Charles, a provincial doctor, Emma Bovary yearns for a more glamorous life. Disenchanted with her husband and seeking an escape from their dull marriage she is soon tempted into a brief romantic liaison with another man. Although short-lived, she remains desirous of passion and the finer things in life and embarks on another affair, destroying her reputation.

Considered scandalous at the time, Emma Bovary’s superficial and immoral behaviour shocked readers and caused moral outcry. Flaubert holds up to ridicule not only Madame Bovary herself, but the society that dares to judge her.

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Review:

Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" scandalised French bourgeois society of the time with its shocking depiction of an adulteress, Emma Bovary, and her lascivious liaisons. The 19th-century press denounced both the book and its author as corrupting influences. History has exonerated Flaubert and exposed the hypocrisy of a society that would deny the existence of such women.

Emma Bovary, a young woman, newly married to a provincial doctor, is dazzled when she attends her first ball, attended by high aristocracy. With the culmination of her romantic ideals realised, her head is so filled with fanciful notions that she never re-enters reality, until the damning end:

Before her wedding day, she had thought she was in love; but since she lacked the happiness that should have come from that love, she must have been mistaken, she fancied. And Emma sought to find out exactly what was meant in real life by the words felicity, passion and rapture, which had seemed so fine on the pages of the books.
Frustrated and bored by her marriage, Emma embarks on a brief, rather touching affair with one young man but soon, vulnerable and exposed, she is fitting carrion for Monsieor Rodolphe, a serial womaniser. Soon, Emma has not only ruined her own reputation but destroyed that of her husband in her ruthless bid for wealth and recognition. The cast of characters, from passers-by to the shopkeepers who take her money, act like the chorus in a Greek tragedy. Seen through their eyes and their reactions to her, Emma's downfall is recounted but also society's intolerance.

On the surface, Flaubert provides a melodramatic morality tale. Slyly, underneath it all, he is laughing. Through his voyeuristic tale, with each salacious detail recounted, he is wilfully subversive as he points the finger not only at the guilty but at those who would dare to judge. --Nicola Perry

About the Author:

Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen in 1821. Aside from journeys to the Near East, Greece, Italy, and North Africa, and a stormy liaison with the poetess Louise Colet, his life was dedicated to the practice of his art. The success of Madame Bovary (1857) was ensured by government prosecution for "immorality"; Salammbô (1862) and The Sentimental Education (1869) received a cool public reception; not until the publication of Three Tales (1877) was his genius popularly acknowledged. His final bitterness and disillusion were vividly evidenced in the savagely satiric Bouvard and Pécuchet, left unfinished at his death in 1880.

Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and several collections of short fiction. She is also the translator of numerous works from the French by, among others, Maurice Blanchot, Pierre Jean Jouve and Michel Leiris, and was recently named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. She received great acclaim for her translation of Proust's The Way by Swann's for Penguin Classics and her Collected Stories have just been published by Hamish Hamilton.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 178 x 111 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. !for her, life was as cold as an attic with a window looking to the north, and ennui, like a spider, was silently spinning its shadowy web in every cranny of her heart. Married to Charles, a provincial doctor, Emma Bovary yearns for a more glamorous life. Disenchanted with her husband and seeking an escape from their dull marriage she is soon tempted into a brief romantic liaison with another man. Although short-lived, she remains desirous of passion and the finer things in life and embarks on another affair, destroying her reputation. Considered scandalous at the time, Emma Bovary s superficial and immoral behaviour shocked readers and caused moral outcry. Flaubert holds up to ridicule not only Madame Bovary herself, but the society that dares to judge her. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007420308

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 178 x 111 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. !for her, life was as cold as an attic with a window looking to the north, and ennui, like a spider, was silently spinning its shadowy web in every cranny of her heart. Married to Charles, a provincial doctor, Emma Bovary yearns for a more glamorous life. Disenchanted with her husband and seeking an escape from their dull marriage she is soon tempted into a brief romantic liaison with another man. Although short-lived, she remains desirous of passion and the finer things in life and embarks on another affair, destroying her reputation. Considered scandalous at the time, Emma Bovary s superficial and immoral behaviour shocked readers and caused moral outcry. Flaubert holds up to ridicule not only Madame Bovary herself, but the society that dares to judge her. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007420308

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert, HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. '!for her, life was as cold as an attic with a window looking to the north, and ennui, like a spider, was silently spinning its shadowy web in every cranny of her heart.' Married to Charles, a provincial doctor, Emma Bovary yearns for a more glamorous life. Disenchanted with her husband and seeking an escape from their dull marriage she is soon tempted into a brief romantic liaison with another man. Although short-lived, she remains desirous of passion and the finer things in life and embarks on another affair, destroying her reputation. Considered scandalous at the time, Emma Bovary's superficial and immoral behaviour shocked readers and caused moral outcry. Flaubert holds up to ridicule not only Madame Bovary herself, but the society that dares to judge her. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007420308

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