The Fortune of the Rougons


‘The Fortune of the Rougons' is the first novel in Zola's monumental 'Les Rougon-Macquart' series. The novel is partly an origin story with an enormous cast of characters, many of whom go on to become the main characters of later novels in the series. It is also a testament to the December 1851 coup d'état that gave rise to the Second French Empire, from the perspective of a large provincial town in southern France. As the title suggests. the protagonists Pierre and Felicité Rougon chase fortune in all its symbolic and tangible meanings in one grand, captivating and hilarious adventure. The title also pays homage to the fortunes of many different family members introduced in the novel, whose lives take on an integral importance throughout later books. An unquestionably successful foundation for the ensuing masterpieces of the series - 'The Fortune of the Rougons' is sure to be savoured by fans of 'Germinal' as an exciting and engrossing read. Nominated twice in the first two instances of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Zola is cited as a major literary influence on authors of the new journalism style of writing, namely Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote, and Gay Talese. Émile Zola (1840-1902) was a French novelist, journalist, and playwright, and one of the most important representatives of French naturalism. His literary topics address violence and its repercussions, alcoholism and issues within the family unit.