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malmsey – n.  a fortified sweet Madiera wine

Classical Usage:  This is the type of passage that has become the only portion of Madame Bovary that I’m enjoying.  I think Flaubert writes beautifully descriptive analogies.  Okay, you’re right, sometimes what he’s describing is far from beautiful, maybe striking is a better choice of adjectives.  You be the judge, this is from Part Two, Chapter XII:  Hers was an infatuation to the point of idiocy; the intensity of her admiration for him was matched by the intensity of her own voluptuous feelings; she was in a blissful torpor, a drunkenness in which her very soul lay drowned and shriveled, like the duke of Clarence in his butt of malmsey.

Classically Mad Usage:  Malmsey, please.

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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Madame Bovary


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