"The novel which he esteemed above all others, he said, was Madame Bovary"

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert has long been considered one of the most influential works of fiction ever written. First published as a book in April 1857, it was attacked for its presentation of scenes that were branded obscene. It is the story of a young married woman who, having become disillusioned with her provincial life, embarks upon a series of affairs that lead her to suicide. The book explores themes of infidelity, excessive debt, depression, abandonment and suicide.