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Au Bonheur Des Dames
About the book
  • Published: 4 December 2001
  • ISBN: 9780141911922
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

Au Bonheur Des Dames


Formats & editions


Now the basis for the major BBC tv adaptation The Paradise, this is a lavish drama and a timeless commentary on consumerism. The Penguin Classics edition of Émile Zola's The Ladies' Delight is based on an acclaimed, vivid and modern translation by Robin Buss, who has also introduced the novel.



The Ladies' Delight is the glittering Paris department store run by Octave Mouret. He has used charm and drive to become director of this mighty emporium, unscrupulously exploiting his young female staff and seducing his lady customers with luxurious displays of shimmering silks, satins, velvets and lace. Then Denise Baudu, a naïve provincial girl, becomes an assistant at the store - and Mouret discovers that he in turn can also be enchanted. With its greedy customers, gossiping staff and vibrant sense of theatre, The Ladies' Delight (Au Bonheur des Dames in the original French) is one of the most richly exciting novels in Zola's Les Rougon-Macquart cycle.



This edition also contains a bibliography, introduction, chronology and explanatory notes.



Emile Zola (1840-1902) was the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. His principal work, Les Rougon-Macquart, is a panorama of mid-19th century French life, in a cycle of 20 novels which Zola wrote over a period of 22 years, including Au Bonheur des Dames (1883), The Beast Within (1890), Nana (1880), and The Drinking Den (1877).



'A complete page-turner about the consumer society, greed, fashion and instant gratification'

India Knight



'A fine translation'

The Times Literary Supplement
%%%Now the basis for the major BBC tv adaptation The Paradise, this is a lavish drama and a timeless commentary on consumerism. The Penguin Classics edition of Émile Zola's The Ladies' Delight is based on an acclaimed, vivid and modern translation by Robin Buss, who has also introduced the novel.
The Ladies' Delight is the glittering Paris department store run by Octave Mouret. He has used charm and drive to become director of this mighty emporium, unscrupulously exploiting his young female staff and seducing his lady customers with luxurious displays of shimmering silks, satins, velvets and lace. Then Denise Baudu, a naïve provincial girl, becomes an assistant at the store - and Mouret discovers that he in turn can also be enchanted. With its greedy customers, gossiping staff and vibrant sense of theatre, The Ladies' Delight (Au Bonheur des Dames in the original French) is one of the most richly exciting novels in Zola's Les Rougon-Macquart cycle.
This edition also contains a bibliography, introduction, chronology and explanatory notes.
Emile Zola (1840-1902) was the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. His principal work, Les Rougon-Macquart, is a panorama of mid-19th century French life, in a cycle of 20 novels which Zola wrote over a period of 22 years, including Au Bonheur des Dames (1883), The Beast Within (1890), Nana (1880), and The Drinking Den (1877).
'A complete page-turner about the consumer society, greed, fashion and instant gratification'
India Knight
'A fine translation'
The Times Literary Supplement

  • Pub date: 4 December 2001
  • ISBN: 9780141911922
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

About the Author

Emile Zola

Émile Zola (1840-1902) is the author of Les Rougon-Macquart – a cycle of 20 novels written over a period of 22 years including Nana(1880), Germinal (1885) and The Drinking Den (1877)- which provides a panoramic view of life under Napoleon III. He was the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. Zola campaigned for justice over the Dreyfus affair – ‘it is up to us poets to nail the guilty to the eternal pillory’ – and his open letter to the President ‘J’accuse’ landed him a prison sentence that he evaded only through exile in England. He is buried in the Panthéon alongside Rousseau, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.

Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, was published in 1992, and he has written nine others, two collections of stories and six books of poetry – most recently Voluntary. Thorpe’s translation of Madame Bovary, ‘stunning and heartily recommended’ (Scotsman), is available in Vintage Classics. He lives in France with his wife and family.

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