Author(s): Gustave Flaubert
Beautiful Emma Bovary dreams of love and riches but her marriage to Charles, a dull country doctor, is far from satisfying. In an attempt to escape the narrow confines of her life she embarks on a series of passionate affairs, hoping to find the romantic ideal she always dreamed about in the arms of other men, but it soon becomes clear that she is hurtling towards tragedy...
Flaubert's daring portrait of adultery caused a national scandal when Madame Bovary was first published, and this masterpiece of realist literature has lost none of its impact today.
Translated by Eleanor Marx Aveling, with an afterword by Peter Harness.
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Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen, France, in December 1821. The son of a surgeon, he is said to have begun writing at a very early age and attended school at the Lycee Pierre Corneille in Rouen. He moved to Paris in 1840 to study law but left intermittently to travel and, after a period of ill health, departed for good in 1846. Thereafter he devoted himself to writing and completed Madame Bovary in 1856. The novel was published to great scandal and acclaim, and Flaubert became a celebrated literary figure. His reputation was cemented with Salammbo (1862) and Sentimental Education (1869). He died in 1880, leaving his last work, Bouvard et Pecuchet, unfinished.