One of the world's most celebrated novels, soon to be a major motion picture starring Mia Wasikowska
This indelible portrait of a beautiful woman's aching lust for more-more romance, more glamour, more fun-and her resulting tragic demise, is widely considered one of the finest novels ever written. Flaubert's refusal to condemn his adulterous heroine, a woman trapped as much by circumstance as by her own boundless desires, scandalized nineteenth-century France and resulted in a trial on charges of obscenity. But it is the beauty of the novel's prose, the great care it takes with characters major and minor, and the relentless but elegant thrust of its narrative, that puts Madame Bovary in a class by itself.
In the story of a provincial doctor and his wife's tawdry affairs, Gustave Flaubert found the stuff of great literature. A perfect novel about imperfect people, Madame Bovary is the rare classic that exceeds expectations and feels as fresh now as it did the day it was written.
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“It has a perfection that not only stamps it, but that makes it stand almost alone.” —Henry James
“Madame Bovary is like the railroad stations erected in its epoch: graceful, even floral, but cast of iron.” —John Updike
“Possibly the most beautifully written book ever composed [and] the most important novel of the century.” —Frank O’Connor
Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) was born in Rouen, France, and dropped out of law school to become a writer. His first published novel, Madame Bovary, was censured by the French government; the resulting trial, on charges of obscenity, brought Flaubert to national prominence. He was eventually acquitted, and Emma Bovary's tragic quest for romance is now considered one of the finest novels in Western literature.