Madame Bovary (in 2 vols)
Paris: Michel Levy Freres, 1857.
Paris: Michel Levy Freres, 1857. First edition. Original green wrappers and later glassine jackets with minor chips to extremities of the spines, a rare survivor of this delicate work. True first, with dedication to "Senart," collating [iv], 232; [iv], -490: complete, with half titles and titles as well as publisher's catalogue to rear of Volume I. Internally clean and bright. An exceptional copy of Flaubert's unequaled novel, which ushered in the age of modernism. Housed in a custom marbled slipcase with half morocco and marbled chemise.
Flaubert’s Emma Bovary rapidly gained notoriety for seduction and suicide following the novel’s release and surrounding obscenity lawsuit in 1857. It would take another thirty years before the English edition of Flaubert’s masterwork was translated and brought to Britain by Eleanor Marx-Aveling, daughter of Karl Marx, who aimed to give the English “a chance of reading… and seeing for themselves whether there is even the slightest foundation for this charge of immorality” (xii). Today, the novel is considered a masterpiece. “Madame Bovary is first and foremost a major milestone in the development of modern and, eventually, modernist fiction, as it introduced or intensified such developments as authorial ‘impersonality’, free indirect narration and a willingness to delve thematically into the banality and vulgarity of contemporary life” (Sayeau). Fine in Fine dust jacket. (Item #3392)