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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 devastating consequences. 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." One of the greatest novels of the 19th century, Flaubert’s torrid debut lives on in Geoffrey Wall’s brilliant translation. This edition features an introduction by Wall, and a preface on Emma Bovary's femininity and modernity by novelist Michèle Roberts.
Part of Penguin’s beautiful hardcover Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.
Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen in 1821. After illness interrupted a career in law, he retired to live with his widowed mother and devote himself to writing. His greatest works include Madame Bovary (1857), Sentimental Education (1857) and Bouvard et Pécuchet (1881). He achieved limited success in his own lifetime, but his fame and reputation grew steadily after his death in 1880.
Geoffrey Wall is a literary biographer, translator and travel writer. His biography of Flaubert, published in 2001, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His translations of Flaubert for Penguin include Madame Bovary, Selected Letters, The Dictionary of Received Ideas, Sentimental Education and Three Tales.
Michèle Roberts is the author of ten highly praised novels, including the Booker-shortlisted Daughters of the House.
Coralie Bickford-Smith is an award-winning designer at Penguin Books, where she has created several highly acclaimed series designs. She studied typography at Reading University and lives in London.