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. Roger Pearson is professor of French at the University of Oxford. He is the author of critical works on Voltaire, Stendhal and Mallarmé and has translated Voltaire, Zola and Maupassant.
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