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This collectors' item is one of only 1000 limited-edition copies of Madame Bovary published world-wide to mark the sixtieth anniversary of Penguin Classics, with a special dust jacket illustrated by the fashion designer, Manolo Blahnik.
Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating. Flaubert's erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: "Madame Bovary, cést moi'' (which has always led to some specualtion about his sexuality as well).
Manolo Blahnik explains his own process of coming up with this cover:
"Madame Bovary is particularly attractive to me because it is a very dramatic story, with this woman's incredible desire, and a compulsion to dress all the time. She didn't have much money and had to borrow from the draper, but she spent everything she had on wonderful, beautiful textiles and dresses. It is something that a modern woman can understand. Doing illustrations for books isn't familiar terrain to me, but I love challenges. My cover is a picture of a lady with a man's hands stretching from behind a curtain to touch her lovely bottom. She is dressed in a wonderful chiffon peignoir, or dressing-gown, and mules - like the slippers ladies put on before they went to bed in those days. It's a fun cover. Maybe I should have been more respectful, done a more solemn drawing in homage to Flaubert - but it isn't a solemn novel. My design was inspired by the golden era of English drawing typified by Cecil Beaton".
Hardcover with Perspex SlipCase, 384 Pages, This Edition Published 2006
Written by: Gustave Flaubert, Translated by: Geoffrey Wall, Cover designed and illustrated by: Manolo Blahnik