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Once scandalous enough to be attacked for obscenity, Madame Bovary became a bestseller when it was published as a single volume in April 1857. Flaubert's masterpiece is now considered a seminal work of Realism and one of the most influential novels ever written. In fact, the notable British-American critic James Wood writes in How Fiction Works: "Flaubert established for good or ill, what most readers think of as modern realist narration, and his influence is almost too familiar to be visible". The story focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. The basic plot is rather simple, even archetypal; the novel's true art lies in its details and hidden patterns. Flaubert was a notorious perfectionist and claimed always to be searching for le mot juste ("the right word"). An opera Madame Bovary was produced in 1951. Madame Bovary has been made into several films, beginning with Albert Ray's 1932 version, and has also been the subject of multiple television miniseries and made-for-TV movies. The most notable of these was the 1949 film produced by MGM and directed by Vincente Minnelli, it starred Jennifer Jones in the title role, co-starring James Mason, Van Heflin, Louis Jourdan, and Gene Lockhart. It was adapted by Giles Cooper for the BBC in 1964, with the same script being used for a new production in 1975. A 2000 miniseries adaptation by Heidi Thomas was made for the BBC, starring Frances O'Connor, Hugh Bonneville and Hugh Dancy.