Madame Bovary , novel by Gustave Flaubert , serialized in the Revue de Paris in and then published in two volumes the following year. Flaubert transformed a commonplace story of adultery into an enduring work of profound humanity. Madame Bovary tells the bleak story of a marriage that ends in tragedy. Charles Bovary, a good-hearted but dull and unambitious doctor with a meagre practice, marries Emma , a beautiful farm girl raised in a convent. Although she anticipates marriage as a life of adventure, she soon finds that her only excitement derives from the flights of fancy she takes while reading sentimental romantic novels. She grows increasingly bored and unhappy with her middle-class existence, and even the birth of their daughter, Berthe, brings Emma little joy.
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SparkNotes is here for you with everything you need to ace or teach! Find out more. Madame Bovary is a novel by Gustave Flaubert that was first published in Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and Analysis.
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Scenes from a provincial life
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Reading Madame Bovary for the first time was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life - at least up to that point. I was a very young woman - not even eighteen. I was au pair in the French provinces in the s, and I read Madame Bovary in French, sitting in the furrow of a vineyard. I was like Emma Rouault before she became Madame Bovary, someone whose most intense life was in books, from which I had formed vague images of passion and adventure, love and weddings, marriage and children. I was afraid of being trapped in a house and a kitchen.