period: Emma Bovary

Emma Bovary

Madame Bovary was Gustave Flaubert’s first, and greatest, novel. Its publication in La Revue de Paris in 1856 resulted in Flaubert’s trial for obscenity; after his acquittal in February 1857 Madame Bovary was published as a single volume and quickly became a bestseller.

Emma Bovary is a doctor’s wife who struggles to escape the banalities and emptiness of her provincial life during the time of the July Monarchy. She has a highly romanticised view of the world and craves beauty, wealth, passion, and high society. It is the disparity between these romantic ideals and the realities of her country life that drive most of the novel, most notably leading her into two extramarital love affairs as well as causing her to accrue an insurmountable amount of debt that eventually leads to her suicide.

According to Erica Jong, Mario Vargas Llosa said: ‘If Emma Bovary had not read all those novels, it is possible that her fate might have been different.’

Classic movie and TV mini-series fodder: there have been some fifteen screen adaptations as well as the recent Gemma Bovery.

The movies

Madame Bovary (2014): Featuring Mia Wasikowska as Emma. Lisa Schonker was the key makeup artist.

Madame Bovary (2000): A TV movie version featuring Frances O’Connor as Emma. Vivien Riley was the makeup designer; Ashley Johnson & Felicity Wright were the makeup artists.

Madame Bovary (1991): Claude Chabrol’s version featuring Isabelle Huppert as Emma. Catherine Demesmeaker, Sandrine Coraux, Elisabeth Perchet, Jean-Pierre Berroyer were credited for makeup & hair styling.

Madame Bovary (1978): An Italian mini-series featuring Carla Gravina as Emma. Looking for images.

Madame Bovary (1975): A BBC mini-series,(a re-make of the 1964 version using the same script) featuring Francesca Annis as Emma. Maggie Weston was credited for makeup & hair.

Die nackte Bovary (1969): Featuring Edwige Fenech as Emma. Coming soon …

Madame Bovary (1964): A BBC mini-series featuring Nyree Dawn Porter as Emma. Looking for images.

Madame Bovary (1949): Featuring Jennifer Jones as Emma. Jack Dawn was the makeup artist.

Madame Bovary (1937): Featuring Pola Negri as Emma. Looking for images.

Madame Bovary (1934): Jean Renoir’s version featuring Valentine Tessier as Emma. Serge Gleboff was the makeup artist.