Madame Bovary

1. Penguin Classics // 2. Oxford World’s Classics // 3. Penguin USA //

4. Penguin Drop Caps //5. Vintage Classics // 6. Insel Verlag GmbH

Oh, Emma Bovary! It seems people either hate her or sympathize with her. If I had to choose I would say I am in the sympathize camp because I completely sided with her the first time I read this novel as a teen. The feelings I had for the trapped, bored, insensitive and selfish woman who can never be satisfied will always stay with me, though I’m sure at this age I would find her a wretched little brat.

So, to the covers… I own number 3, but am really drawn to number 6. There is something about the woman on the cover that is so Emma. Which cover do you like and are you a fan of Madame Bovary?

My week has flown by because at work I am hustling to get our summer reading program materials and logistics in order before the chaos starts on May 30. We’ve changed our program this year and so everything is new and unfamiliar and we are all getting up to speed on the rules and regs and hope it all goes smoothly. On top of that there’s been cleaning and preparing to do in the evenings as I’ll have company this weekend. My cousin (who used to live with me) and her sister are coming from Colorado and I am so excited. It will be wonderful.

My reading has taken a nose dive this week, but I did finish The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud last night, which is fascinating, sad and brutal. It is the anti-Excellent Women.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

21 Comments

  1. JoAnn (Lakeside Musing)

    Cover #3 is gorgeous. I actually bought the book because of it – and the translation, of course. 😉

    I want to read The Woman Upstairs even more now… your description has made me even more curious!

    • The Woman Upstairs is really remarkable. The more I think about it the more I like it. I wish I had someone to discuss it with because there’s so much great fodder for conversation there. It would make a great book group book!

  2. Miss Bibliophile

    I’ve never read Madame Bovary, but I like cover #4 the best. I always loved the summer reading program at the library, despite the fact that the librarian would never let me sign up for 100 books as my goal like I wanted to!

    • What! I would think the librarian would encourage you to read as much as you would like. We don’t really have a rule for how many books kids can read over the summer. All they have to read is nine books to get their prizes – beyond that we don’t really monitor it.

  3. Sam (Tiny Library)

    Number 6 does seem to capture her so well, doesn’t it?
    I quite liked Emma when I read it, even if I didn’t agree with everything she did. I’m rereading it for the classics club, looking forward to getting to it again.

  4. I have cover #1 but I prefer #6 and I quite like #5 just because of the lilies. I really disliked Emma, but I read the book fairly recently, I don’t know if I would have sided with her when I was younger. I could have given her a good shake!

    • Now, I’d want to shake her, but as a teen I thought she was romantic. I do like the cover with the lilies too – I’m always a sucker for pretty flower covers.

  5. Joan Hunter Dunn

    I think my copy is cover number 1, which seems a little more real. I quite like number 5 though. Have a great time with your cousins.

  6. I have #1 as well. I bought it last year because it’s been ages since I read it, and I can’t remember much of anything. I’m usually drawn to the Penguin covers, but I do like #6 – and I really don’t like #4.

    I hope you have a wonderful visit! Do your cats enjoy company? Mine don’t – they hide for at least 24 hours before deciding to venture out.

    • My cats usually do not like company, but since they lived with my cousin for nearly two years they were fine with her visiting though still a bit jumpy :-0

  7. jessicabookworm

    I haven’t read Madame Bovary so can’t comment on whether I like her or whether the covers suit the story. I do find myself drawn to cover #5 though, I like flowers.

  8. I’m for 6, too. I’m not keen on 3, but it’s the one I see around most so I’d assumed it was the only one available. I don’t know, I just find it weird. Happy for you seeing your cousin again!

    • No. 3 does not really convey what the novel is about or seem to be a good representative of the subject matter, but I think the translation is the preferred one now, so….

  9. Andi @ Estella's Revenge

    I read this one a couple of years ago as a buddy read with my friend Heather from Capricious Reader. I really enjoyed it, even though I found Emma totally slap-worthy at times. Of the covers, I think I’m most drawn to 1, 3, 4, and 5.

  10. i liked the new davies one ,mine just a tatter old penguin cover ,all the best stu

  11. I love #3, but sadly that edition came with a different cover in the UK. Thank you for helping me to realise that I look less at the covers for works in translation than which translation it is.

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