Annotations for Madame Bovary : Provincial Lives
Baker & Taylor
An unhappily married woman, Emma Bovary's unfulfilled dreams of romantic love and desperation to escape the ordinary boredom of her life lead her to a series of desperate acts, including adultery, in a classic novel set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century bourgeois France.
Blackwell North Amer
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 consequence 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."
The notorious and celebrated novel that established modern realism
For this novel of French bourgeois life in all its inglorious banality, Flaubert invented a paradoxically original and wholly modern style. His heroine, Emma Bovary, a bored provincial housewife, abandons her husband to pursue the libertine Rodolphe in a desperate love affair. A succès de scandale in its day, Madame Bovary remains a powerful and scintillating novel.
This Penguin Classics edition is translated with notes and an introduction by Geoffrey Wall. It includes a preface by Michele Roberts.