By Emile Zola

Printed: 1898

Publisher: Chatto & Windus. London

Edition: First UK edititon

Dimensions 14 × 19 × 4 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 14 x 19 x 4

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Blue cloth binding with black title and sail ships pattern on the front board and spine.

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A good clean edition

Les Trois Villes is a novel written by Émile Zola between 1893 and 1898. It directly follows the novelist’s previous cycle: Les Rougon-Macquart. Its hero, Abbé Pierre Froment, serves as the common thread in the three novels, Lourdes, Rome and Paris, in which Zola questions the place of religion in modern society, but also the confrontation between a radiant bourgeoisie in the face of a miserable working-class world.

The idea for Paris came to Zola in September 1892. The anarchist context of the years 1892-1894 with their attacks9, but also the revelation of the Panama Scandal, which implicates a part of the republican political world and the financial sphere, inspire the writer. Pierre Froment is therefore still the main character. Having lost all faith, he decided to devote himself to charity towards the poorest, without success. He opposes his chemist and anarchist brother, designer of a new super-powerful explosive, who wants to change the world using terror and violence. The hero then understands the need for an organizational renewal of society to combat poverty. Zola also paints a picture of the Paris of money, politics and pleasure, as opposed to the extreme poverty that leads to anarchy.

Written from January to August 1897, the novel was first published in Le Journal from October 1897 to February 9, 1898… The publication of the book fell in the middle of the Dreyfus affair, at the time when Zola published J’Accuse…!. The novelist decided to postpone the publication of Paris to March 1, 1898, at the request of his publisher, Charpentier. As might be expected, the reaction of the conservative right-wing press is more hostile than far-right figures, such as Édouard Drumont. recognized themselves throughout the chapters. The book’s vehement criticism is combined with the media lynching following Zola’s conviction. On the left, Jaurès asserts that “Paris is a bold protest against all the powers of lies and servitude. ». Léon Blum, for his part, writes: “Never has Mr. Zola developed with more lucidity and strength his optimistic vision of humanity on the move.”.

Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola 2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902 was a French novelist, journalist, playwright, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in his renowned newspaper opinion headlined J’Accuse…!  Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902.

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