One of Townsend's six best books, as told to the Daily Express:
MADAME BOVARYRead about another novel on the list.
by Gustave Flaubert
This is beautifully written and full of captivating characters. Emma, the heroine, is a foolish woman yet you’re always rooting for her such is the strength of Flaubert’s characterisation.
The book is so descriptive, I’d read it two or three times a year when I could see. [Townsend is now registered blind.]
Madame Bovary is on Helena Frith Powell's list of ten of the best sexy French books, the Christian Science Monitor's list of six novels about grand passions, John Mullan's lists of ten landmark coach rides in literature, ten of the best cathedrals in literature, ten of the best balls in literature, ten of the best bad lawyers in literature, ten of the best lotharios in literature, and ten of the best bad doctors in fiction, Valerie Martin's list of six novels about doomed marriages, and Louis Begley's list of favorite novels about cheating lovers. It tops Peter Carey's list of the top ten works of literature and was second on a top ten works of literature list selected by leading writers from Britain, America and Australia in 2007. It is one of John Bowe's six favorite books on love.