Madame Bovary

Front Cover
Harrap, 1979 - Adultery - 381 pages
Often described as the perfect novel, Madame Bovary is said to have had an influence on modern fiction that is so profound it is difficult to perceive. It relates the tale of a bored and unsatisfied woman, struggling to find contentment in nineteenth-century middle-class French society. To cope with the emptiness of her existence she embarks on a series of disastrous affairs and runs up huge debts.

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About the author (1979)

Born in the town of Rouen, in northern France, in 1821, Gustave Flaubert was sent to study law in Paris at the age of 18. After only three years, his career was interrupted and he retired to live with his widowed mother in their family home at Croisset, on the banks of the Seine River. Supported by a private income, he devoted himself to his writing. Flaubert traveled with writer Maxime du Camp from November 1849 to April 1851 to North Africa, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. When he returned he began Madame Bovary, which appeared first in the Revue in 1856 and in book form the next year. The realistic depiction of adultery was condemned as immoral and Flaubert was prosecuted, but escaped conviction. Other major works include Salammbo (1862), Sentimental Education (1869), and The Temptation of Saint Antony (1874). His long novel Bouvard et Pecuchet was unfinished at his death in 1880. After his death, Flaubert's fame and reputation grew steadily, strengthened by the publication of his unfinished novel in 1881 and the many volumes of his correspondence.

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