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About the book
  • Published: 16 September 2005
  • ISBN: 9780141911915
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480

The Drinking Den




Set in the taverns of Paris, this is perhaps the first classical tragedy of working-class people living in the slums of a city. The Drinking Den (1877) is part of the Rougon-Macquart series, a naturalistic history of two branches of a family traced through several generations. Zola's work was influenced by contemporary theories of heredity and experimental science, and the behaviour of the two families is shown to be conditioned by environment and inherited characteristics, chiefly drunkenness and mental instability.

  • Pub date: 16 September 2005
  • ISBN: 9780141911915
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480

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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