(1840 - 1902)
When Émile Zola moved from Aix-en-Provence to Paris in 1858, he had little money and fewer prospects. In 1871 he began publishing his twenty-novel cycle about life during the Second Empire; The Ladies’ Paradise became its eleventh installation in 1883. During the Dreyfus Affair in 1898, Zola published a fierce attack on the French general staff that began with the words “J’accuse.” He was tried and convicted of libel, forcing him to flee to England in 1899. His work served as a model for Guy de Maupassant, Joris-Karl Huysmans, George Moore, and Stephen Crane, among others.