This is a documentary-style account of political unrest and personal travail in a late 19th-century French coalfield. Despite the grimness of his subject and the accuracy of his description, Zola tells an irresistible tale above and below ground among the families of Montsou.
In contrast with the epic scope of the Rougon-Macquart novels, Zola's short stories are concerned with the everyday aspects of human existence and the interests of ordinary people.
Recently adapted for BBC Television, The Ladies' Paradise evokes the giddy pace of Paris's transition into a modern city and the changes in sexual attitudes and class relations taking place at the end of the century.
Provides a detailed portrait of provincial nineteenth-century life. Adhering to a naturalist approach, this book eschews many of the characteristics of the author's other novels... Læs mere