Madame Bovary (Penguin Popular Classics)

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9780140621792: Madame Bovary (Penguin Popular Classics)

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader 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 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'.

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From the Back Cover:

The year 1857 propelled Flaubert into the law courts and into celebrity. It was not exactly the kind of celebrity he had wished for. 'Madame Bovary' had appeared serially in 'La Revue de Paris'. Now the imperial prosecutor was attacking the work for being offensive to religion and morality. Not only the seduction scenes, but the episodes dealing with religion and the description of Emma's death, came under direct censure. More than the subject, the general tone of the novel was denounced as immoral: the pervasive eroticism, the poetry of adultery, the so-called 'realism' of the style. Flaubert, excellently defended by his lawyer, was acquitted. The book was published soon after, benefiting from the advance courtroom publicity.

About the Author:

Gustave Flaubert

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