The bored wife of a bumbling provincial physician, Emma seeks to escape from the tedium of her life with romantic fantasies and adulterous affairs, but is ultimately doomed to disillusionment. Unable to come to terms with reality, Emma is a figure at once noble and banal, tragic and absurd. With her wrenching story, Flaubert forged an unforgettable classic that has remained one of the most admired and influential novels ever written. That peerless twentieth-century stylist, Vladimir Nabokov, put the case memorably: Without Flaubert there would have been no Marcel Proust in France, no James Joyce in Ireland. Chekhov in Russia would not have been quite Chekhov. This volume features rare archival materials from The New York Public Library, including etchings from a 1905 French limited edition of Madame Bovary and a sampling of Vladimir Nabokov's handwritten lecture notes on Flaubert.