Over 2000 electronic books to read online or download to your PC, Kindle, Android, iPad, iPhone and any electronic book reader
Find an eBook by title or author...


Madame Bovary

Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary is a novel by Gustave Flaubert that was attacked for obscenity by public prosecutors when it was first serialised in La Revue de Paris between 1 October 1856 and 15 December 1856, resulting in a trial in January 1857 that made it notorious. After the acquittal on 7 February, it became a bestseller in book form in April 1857, and now stands virtually unchallenged not only as a seminal work of Realism, but as one of the most influential novels ever written.

The novel focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. Though the basic plot is rather simple, even archetypal, the novel's true art lies in its details and hidden patterns. Flaubert was notoriously perfectionistic about his writing and claimed to always be searching for le mot juste (the right word).

A 2007 poll of contemporary authors, published in a book entitled The Top Ten, cited Madame Bovary as one of the two greatest novels ever written, second only to Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

Plot Introduction

Madame Bovary takes place in provincial northern France, near the town of Rouen in Normandy. The story begins and ends with Charles Bovary, a stolid, kindhearted man without much ability or ambition. As the novel opens, Charles is a shy, oddly-dressed teenager arriving at a new school amidst the ridicule of his new classmates. Later, Charles struggles his way to a second-rate medical degree and becomes an officier de santé in the Public Health Service. His mother chooses a wife for him, an unpleasant but supposedly rich widow, and Charles sets out to build a practice in the village of Tostes (now Tôtes).

One day, Charles visits a local farm to set the owner's broken leg, and meets his client's daughter, Emma Rouault. Emma is a beautiful, daintily-dressed young woman who has received a "good education" in a convent and who has a latent but powerful yearning for luxury and romance imbibed from the popular novels she has read. Charles is immediately attracted to her, and begins checking on his patient far more often than necessary until his wife's jealousy puts a stop to the visits. When his wife dies, Charles waits a decent interval, then begins courting Emma in earnest. Her father gives his consent, and Emma and Charles are married.

(From Wikipedia, description text under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL))

Planet PDF Edition

Free ebook to download in PDF format - 1,66 Mb - 570 pages


5.00 (4 Votes)
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment