La Bouquinerie

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Emile Zola


French writer born in Paris in 1840 from an Italian engineer father and French mother. Self proclaimed leader of the French naturalism, his major series Les Rougon-Macquart is a panoramic account of the lives of 2 families during the Second French Empire. He was a major figure in the political liberalisation of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse. He died in 1902 of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other novels

Part of the Rougon-Macquart Saga:

  1. -La Fortune Des Rougons

  2. -Le Ventre de Paris

  3. -L’Assommoir

  4. -Nana

  5. -Au Bonheur de Dames

  6. -Germinal

  7. -...


- Therese Raquin

- Madeleine Ferat


[Back cover translation] “The earth is hero of my book”. The earth that the peasant need and fecund with its hands, generous or ungrateful, dearly acquired or coveted. Jean, Gervaise’s brother in L’Assommoir, is a farm labourer in the Beauce region. He loves and wants to marry a proud young girl, Francoise. However, her brother in law, the ruffian Buteau is putting as many spanners in the works as possible. If she marries, the estate will have to be shared. After having skinned his own parents, he wants to skin the young girl. This fifteenth volume of the Rougon-Macquart saga is a terrible painting of the earth and its peasants. The crimes that the earth instigate are not imaginary, Zola studied the country’s gazettes. The earth is hard but stick to the labourer’s feet. He will fight to get more. He will fight to protect it form the enemy. He will love it more than a woman.

La terre was first published as a serial in the Gil Blas from the 29th May to 16th September 1887.

La terre

Emile Zola