£12.08
  • RRP: £12.99
  • You Save: £0.91 (7%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Madame Bovary (Penguin Cl... has been added to your Basket
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Madame Bovary (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Special Edition, 5 Apr 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, Special Edition, 5 Apr 2012
£12.08
£6.35 £8.28
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£12.08 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Madame Bovary (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
  • +
  • The Portrait of a Lady n/e (Oxford World's Classics)
Total price: £16.07
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; De Luxe edition edition (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014310649X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143106494
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.4 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 477,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" scandalised French bourgeois society of the time with its shocking depiction of an adulteress, Emma Bovary, and her lascivious liaisons. The 19th-century press denounced both the book and its author as corrupting influences. History has exonerated Flaubert and exposed the hypocrisy of a society that would deny the existence of such women.

Emma Bovary, a young woman, newly married to a provincial doctor, is dazzled when she attends her first ball, attended by high aristocracy. With the culmination of her romantic ideals realised, her head is so filled with fanciful notions that she never re-enters reality, until the damning end:

Before her wedding day, she had thought she was in love; but since she lacked the happiness that should have come from that love, she must have been mistaken, she fancied. And Emma sought to find out exactly what was meant in real life by the words felicity, passion and rapture, which had seemed so fine on the pages of the books.
Frustrated and bored by her marriage, Emma embarks on a brief, rather touching affair with one young man but soon, vulnerable and exposed, she is fitting carrion for Monsieor Rodolphe, a serial womaniser. Soon, Emma has not only ruined her own reputation but destroyed that of her husband in her ruthless bid for wealth and recognition. The cast of characters, from passers-by to the shopkeepers who take her money, act like the chorus in a Greek tragedy. Seen through their eyes and their reactions to her, Emma's downfall is recounted but also society's intolerance.

On the surface, Flaubert provides a melodramatic morality tale. Slyly, underneath it all, he is laughing. Through his voyeuristic tale, with each salacious detail recounted, he is wilfully subversive as he points the finger not only at the guilty but at those who would dare to judge. --Nicola Perry --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Acclaim for Lydia Davis and her translation of "Swann's Way"
"[Her] capacity to make language unleash entire states of existence reveals the extent to which Davis's fiction is influenced by her work as a translator."
-"The New York Times"
"Few writers now working make the words on the page matter more."
-Jonathan Franzen
"Davis is the best prose stylist in America."
-Rick Moody
""Swann's Way" is transformed into something even more enchanting in Lydia Davis's new translation."
-"Vanity Fair"
"Davis is closer, "much" closer, to Proust's French. . . . [Her] "Swann's Way" is one of those translations . . . that put the question of "languages" out of your mind, and leave you only with questions of "language.""
-"The Village Voice"
"Accessible and faithful to Proust. Davis replicates the hesitations and digressions, the backward looks and forward glances that swell Proust's sentences and send them cascading to their conclusion-without s

"A brilliant new translation." — Lee Siegel, "The New York Observer"

WINNER OF THE FRENCH-AMERICAN FOUNDATION TRANSLATION PRIZE
ONE OF "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE'S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A "PROVIDENCE JOURNAL" BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
ONE OF NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
"[Flaubert's] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves."
-Kathryn Harrison, "The New York Times Book Review"
"Invigorating . . . [Davis] has a finer ear for the natural cadences of English, in narrative and dialogue, than any of her predecessors."
-Jonathan Raban, "The New York Review of Books"
"Dazzling . . . translated to perfect pitch . . . [Davis has] left us the richer with this translation. . . . I'd certainly say it is necessary to have hers."
-Jacki Lyden, NPR.org, Favorite Books of the Year
"One of the most important books of the year . . . Flaubert's strict, elegant, rhythmic sentences come alive in Davis's English."
-James Wood, "The New Yorker"'s Book Bench
"Ia

"A brilliant new translation."

"I''m grateful to Davis for luring me back to "Madame Bovary" and for giving us a version which strikes me as elegant and alive."---Maureen Corrigan, NPR's"Fresh Air"

"A brilliant new translation."---Lee Siegel, "The New York Observer"

"Davis is the best fiction writer ever to translate the novel. . . . [Her] work shares the Flaubertian virtues of compression, irony and an extreme sense of control."---Julian Barnes, "London Review of Books"

"Flaubert''s obsessive masterpiece finally gets the obsessive translation it deserves."--"New York" magazine

"[Flaubert''s] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves."---Kathryn Harrison, "The New York Times Book Review"

"Dazzling . . . translated to perfect pitch . . . [Davis has] left us the richer with this translation. . . . I'd certainly say it is necessary to have hers."---Jacki Lyden, NPR.org, Favorite Books of the Year

"One of the most important books of the year . . . Flaubert's strict, elegant, rhythmic sentences come alive in Davis's English."---James Wood, "The New Yorker"'s Book Bench

""Madame Bovary" reads like it was written yesterday. . . . Emma, with her visions of a grander life and resplendent passions, is me . . . and you, too, no doubt. . . . If you haven't happened to read "Madame Bovary" until now, I suggest you curl up with this edition . . . and allow yourself to get lost in another time and place that yet bears a curious resemblance to our own."---Daphne Merkin, "Elle"

"[Flaubert's] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves."---Kathryn Harrison, "The New York Times Book Review"

"Flaubert's obsessive masterpiece finally gets the obsessive translation it deserves."--"New York" magazine

"I liked having a chance to find more nuances in "Madame Bovary" in the new Lydia Davis translation and read it blissfully as though floating, as Flaubert puts it in a different context, 'in a river of milk.'"---Paul Theroux, "The Guardian" (London), Books of the Year

"I'm grateful to Davis for luring me back to "Madame Bovary" and for giving us a version which strikes me as elegant and alive."---Maureen Corrigan, NPR's"Fresh Air"

"Invigorating . . . [Davis] has a finer ear for the natural cadences of English, in narrative and dialogue, than any of her predecessors." ---Jonathan Raban, "The New York Review of Books"

"Lydia Davis's "Madame Bovary" translation=perfect. She somehow pulls off a respectful translation with the readability of a contemporary novel." --@lenadunham
"[Flaubert's] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves." --Kathryn Harrison, "The New York Times Book Review"
"Invigorating . . . [Davis] has a finer ear for the natural cadences of English, in narrative and dialogue, than any of her predecessors." --Jonathan Raban, "The New York Review of Books"
"Dazzling . . . translated to perfect pitch . . . [Davis has] left us the richer with this translation. . . . I'd certainly say it is necessary to have hers." --Jacki Lyden, NPR.org, Favorite Books of the Year
"One of the most important books of the year . . . Flaubert's strict, elegant, rhythmic sentences come alive in Davis's English." --James Wood, "The New Yorker"'s Book Bench
"I liked having a chance to find more nuances in "Madame Bovary" in the new Lydia Davis translation and read it blissfully as though floating, as Flaubert puts it in a different context, 'in a river of milk.'" --Paul Theroux, "The Guardian" (London), Books of the Year
""Madame Bovary" reads like it was written yesterday. . . . Emma, with her visions of a grander life and resplendent passions, is me . . . and you, too, no doubt. . . . If you haven't happened to read "Madame Bovary" until now, I suggest you curl up with this edition . . . and allow yourself to get lost in another time and place that yet bears a curious resemblance to our own." --Daphne Merkin, "Elle"
"Davis is the best fiction writer ever to translate the novel. . . . [Her] work shares the Flaubertian virtues of compression, irony and an extreme sense of control." --Julian Barnes, "London Review of Books"
"A brilliant new translation." --Lee Siegel, "The New York Observer"
"I'm grateful to Davis for luring me back to "Madame Bovary" and for giving us a version which strikes me as elegant and alive." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "Fresh Air"
"Flaubert's obsessive masterpiece finally gets the obsessive translation it deserves." --"New York" magazine

Lydia Davis s "Madame Bovary" translation=perfect. She somehow pulls off a respectful translation with the readability of a contemporary novel. @lenadunham
"[Flaubert's] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves." Kathryn Harrison, "The New York Times Book Review"
"Invigorating . . . [Davis] has a finer ear for the natural cadences of English, in narrative and dialogue, than any of her predecessors." Jonathan Raban, "The New York Review of Books"
"Dazzling . . . translated to perfect pitch . . . [Davis has] left us the richer with this translation. . . . I'd certainly say it is necessary to have hers." Jacki Lyden, NPR.org, Favorite Books of the Year
"One of the most important books of the year . . . Flaubert's strict, elegant, rhythmic sentences come alive in Davis's English." James Wood, "The New Yorker"'s Book Bench
"I liked having a chance to find more nuances in"Madame Bovary"in the new Lydia Davis translation and read it blissfully as though floating, as Flaubert puts it in a different context, 'in a river of milk.'" Paul Theroux, "The Guardian"(London), Books of the Year
""Madame Bovary"reads like it was written yesterday. . . . Emma, with her visions of a grander life and resplendent passions, is me . . . and you, too, no doubt. . . . If you haven't happened to read"Madame Bovary"until now, I suggest you curl up with this edition . . . and allow yourself to get lost in another time and place that yet bears a curious resemblance to our own." Daphne Merkin, "Elle"
"Davis is the best fiction writer ever to translate the novel. . . . [Her] work shares the Flaubertian virtues of compression, irony and an extreme sense of control." Julian Barnes, "London Review of Books"
"A brilliant new translation." Lee Siegel, "The New York Observer"
"I'm grateful to Davis for luring me back to"Madame Bovary"and for giving us a version which strikes me as elegant and alive." Maureen Corrigan, NPR's"Fresh Air"
"Flaubert's obsessive masterpiece finally gets the obsessive translation it deserves." "New York"magazine"

National Bestseller
Winner of the French-American Foundation Translation Prize
One of "New York "magazine s Ten Best Books of the Year
A "Providence Journal "Best Book of the Year
One of National Public Radio s Favorite Books of the Year
Lydia Davis s "Madame Bovary" translation=perfect. She somehow pulls off a respectful translation with the readability of a contemporary novel. @lenadunham
"[Flaubert's] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves." Kathryn Harrison, "The New York Times Book Review"
"Invigorating . . . [Davis] has a finer ear for the natural cadences of English, in narrative and dialogue, than any of her predecessors." Jonathan Raban, "The New York Review of Books"
"Dazzling . . . translated to perfect pitch . . . [Davis has] left us the richer with this translation. . . . I'd certainly say it is necessary to have hers." Jacki Lyden, NPR.org, Favorite Books of the Year
"One of the most important books of the year . . . Flaubert's strict, elegant, rhythmic sentences come alive in Davis's English." James Wood, "The New Yorker"'s Book Bench
"I liked having a chance to find more nuances in"Madame Bovary"in the new Lydia Davis translation and read it blissfully as though floating, as Flaubert puts it in a different context, 'in a river of milk.'" Paul Theroux, "The Guardian"(London), Books of the Year
""Madame Bovary"reads like it was written yesterday. . . . Emma, with her visions of a grander life and resplendent passions, is me . . . and you, too, no doubt. . . . If you haven't happened to read"Madame Bovary"until now, I suggest you curl up with this edition . . . and allow yourself to get lost in another time and place that yet bears a curious resemblance to our own." Daphne Merkin, "Elle"
"Davis is the best fiction writer ever to translate the novel. . . . [Her] work shares the Flaubertian virtues of compression, irony and an extreme sense of control." Julian Barnes, "London Review of Books"
"A brilliant new translation." Lee Siegel, "The New York Observer"
"I'm grateful to Davis for luring me back to"Madame Bovary"and for giving us a version which strikes me as elegant and alive." Maureen Corrigan, NPR's"Fresh Air"
"Flaubert's obsessive masterpiece finally gets the obsessive translation it deserves." "New York"magazine"

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 July 2007
Format: Paperback
I can well understand how controversial this novel was when it was first published. Overall it is a vicious portrayal of small town France. Most of the characters are revealed to be self-seeking and vain. At the heart of the story is Emma Bovary - and Flaubert is, I feel, ambivalent in his attitude to her. He sometimes describes her very favourably and at others as selfish hard-hearted. And we as readers share this ambivalence - is she a cruel temptress who cares little for her own child or is she a victim of the social mores and unable to act independently? Certainly the book highlights how women of the time could only find happiness and fulfilment through a male partner.

The ending is prolonged and horrific. Was Flaubert hoping to attract our sympathy for the hapless Emma or was he ensuring that she was suitably punished for her infidelities?

The writing is splendid - surprisingly modern and beautifully descriptive. I am sorry I let this book sit unread on my bookshelf for so long?
Comment 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Making a statement like Madame Bovary is the "greatest" novel ever written would be superfluous. It could be argued that it is the most perfectly written novel in the history of letters and that in creating it, Flaubert mastered the genre. What can't be argued is that it is one of the most influential novels ever written. It changed the face of literature as no other novel has, and has been appreciated and acknowledged by virtually every important novelist who was either Flaubert's contemporary or who came after him.
It's interesting to see the range in opinion that still surrounds this novel. Some of the Readers here at Amazon are morally affronted by the novel's central character, viewing her as something sinister and "unlikeable," and panning the novel for this reason. Such a reaction recalls the negative reviews Bovary engendered soon after its initial publication. It was attacked by many of the authorities of French literature at the time for being ugly and perverse, and for the impression that the novel presented no properly moral frame. These readers didn't "like" Emma much either, and they took their dislike out on her creator.
But this is one of the factors making Madame Bovary "modern". One of the hallmarks of modern novels is that they often portray unsympathetic characters, and Emma certainly falls into this category. How can we as readers "like" a woman who elbows her toddler daughter away from her so forcefully that the child "fell against the chest of drawers, and cut her cheek on the brass curtain-holder." After this pernicious behavior, Emma has a few brief moments of self-castigation and maybe even remorse, but very soon is struck by "what an ugly child" Berthe is. Emma's self-centeredness borders on solipsism.
Read more ›
Comment 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the paperback years ago then lost it, so now I have it on Kindle. The intro is remarkably detailed and interesting, but... Do you want some expert telling you what to think before you've read the first page? It's a bit like those audio guides you can hire in an art gallery: we're all entitled to wander round making up our own minds, however daft the conclusions may be.

It would be OK if the translation measured up to the quality of the intro, but it doesn't. Yes, it's accurate, but yet again it shows you can't assume an academic is best qualified just because he writes well about it. Contrary to what you might think, the two tasks need different talents. You can't set off on your translating journey trusting Flaubert to carry you through like some reliable old nag, or you'll come a cropper. So Prof Wall is accurate, and the story gets told, but where's the lyricism, the style to match Flaubert when it's needed? Where's the Shakespearean attention to the sounds of the words, the assonance and alliteration, none of which is needed in an intro? This isn't a diesel generator brochure, it's probably the greatest novel ever written, and the reason for that is the way it is written. Wall may well feel this, but why can't he convey it to the vulnerable reader?

Perhaps the answer is to buy this for the intro, though whose translation you get I don't know. They all have their faults, most of all the wretched Marx-Aveling. She's everywhere.

Forgive me. I'm becoming a Flaubert anorak. But then, he's that good. He deserves the best. Maybe this is:

"She longed for a son; he would be strong and dark; she would call him Georges; and this idea of having a male child was a sort of hoped-for revenge for all her past impotence.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Well, first let me say that I am 95% sure that I will never read this novel again. That is not to say that I'm not glad I read it, or that I disliked it particularly, more that I don't think I could put myself through it again.

It is a novel riddled with complex moral and social issues - and Emma Bovary is a complex anti-heroine. At times I felt sorry for her. She is a woman seeking something bigger for herself, something that her role as wife and mother can't offer her. But she is also a very silly character, reminding me somewhat of Catherine in Northanger Abbey in her futile pursuit of idle dreams. Every emotion coursing through her body is absolutely genuine and heartfelt - until disillusionment comes and it vapourises again. She is reaching for a love and a life that exists only in stories, a terminal case of greed, of always seeing that vibrant, greener grass on the other side of the fence, of vanity and utter selfishness. Yet have we not all occasionally felt unhappy with our lot in life? Can we not look around nowadays and see hundreds of selfish and deluded young people indulging their vanity and trying to win fame, fortune, more money, a richer partner?

All in all, a novel that is valuable for its portrayal of society in the 19th century, including its ideas about women, marriage and adultery, religion, and about medical theories and advances. The characters are strongly drawn and as real in their complex and flawed personalities as any I've ever read. It raises questions, it provokes thought about blame and morality, it parallels certain worrying trends that continue into today's society... and despite everything, I was moved by Emma's tragic demise. But I think the repetitive nature of the novel - mistake, regret, repentence, repeat - and the unlikeable, unredeemable nature of the title Madame will stop it being a keeper for me.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Look for similar items by category


Feedback