Torea Frey

Editor, writer, photographer, observer on the street.

The beauty in Bovary

There was something of a stir last year when Lydia Davis's new translation of Madame Bovary came out, but I was more or less content with the single dog-eared copy of it on my shelf. Until, that is, we stopped at Argosy Books and found an old edition, concealed in a cover dappled with pink roses; with its lovely thick paper and a spate of cool illustrations, old Emma was practically begging me to purchase it.

It's a little unclear when this edition was published, though the Internet suggests perhaps sometime in the 1940s. (This would fit with the era Richard Lindner was working.)

This translation is Eleanor Marx Aveling's, the first English version of Bovary. (Eleanor was the youngest daughter of Karl Marx, poisoned herself with prussic acid when she discovered her lover had married another woman.)