La Fortune des Rougon (Les Rougon-Macquart #1) by Émile Zola,

La Fortune des Rougon (Les Rougon-Macquart, #1)La Fortune des Rougon by Émile Zola

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Starting to read the first book of this series made of 20 books.

Publication order:
La Fortune des Rougon (1871)
La Curée (1871-2)
Le Ventre de Paris (1873)
La Conquête de Plassans (1874)
La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret (1875)
Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (1876)
L’Assommoir (1877)*
Une Page d’amour (1878)
Nana (1880)*
Pot-Bouille (1882)
Au Bonheur des Dames (1883)
La Joie de vivre (1884)
Germinal (1885)*
L’Œuvre (1886)
La Terre (1887)
Le Rêve (1888)
La Bête humaine (1890)*
L’Argent (1891)
La Débâcle (1892)
Le Docteur Pascal (1893)

Author’s Preface:
This work, which will comprise several episodes, is therefore, in my mind, the natural and social history of a family under the Second Empire. And the first episode, here called “The Fortune of the Rougons,” should scientifically be entitled “The Origin.”

In this book, Zola describes the consequences of The 2 December 1851 coup d’état in a small and imaginary village of Plassans.

The author also shows the beginning of two different families, the Rougon and the Macquart and how their members face this first period of the Second Empire under Napoleon III also know as “authoritarian empire”.

Despite the publication order, some readers suggested another logical sequence of this series, such as:

1)La Fortune des Rougon (tr. THE FORTUNE OF THE ROUGONS);

2) Son Excellence Eugene Rougon (tr. HIS EXCELLENCY or CLORINDA);

3) La Curée (tr. THE KILL);

4) L’Argent (tr. MONEY);

5) La Rève (tr. THE DREAM);

6) La Conquête de Plassans (tr. THE CONQUEST OF PLASSANS or A PRIEST IN THE HOUSE);


8) Au Bonheur des Dames (tr. THE LADIES’ PARADISE or THE LADIES’ DELIGHT);

9) La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret (tr. ABBE MOURET’S TRANSGRESSION);

10) Une Page d’amour (tr. A LOVE EPISODE);

11) Le Ventre de Paris (tr. THE BELLY OF PARIS or THE FAT AND THE THIN);

12) La Joie de vivre (tr. THE JOY OF LIFE, HOW JOLLY LIFE IS! or ZEST FOR LIFE);

13) L’Assommoir;


15) La Bête Humaine (tr. THE BEAST WITHIN or THE HUMAN BEAST);

16) Germinal;

17) Nana;

18) La Terre (tr. THE EARTH or THE SOIL);

19) La Débâcle (tr. THE DOWNFALL); and,

20) Le Docteur Pascal (tr. DOCTOR PASCAL).


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