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Rougon-Macquart Books In Order

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Publication Order of Rougon-Macquart Books

The Fortune of the Rougons (1870)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kill / The Rush for the Spoil (1872)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Belly of Paris / The Fat and the Thin (1873)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Conquest of Plassans (1874)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sin of Father Mouret / The Sinful Priest / Abbe Mouret's Transgression (1875)Description / Buy at Amazon
His Excellency Eugene Rougon (1876)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Drinking Den / The Dram Shop / L'Assommoir / The Gin Palace (1877)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Love Episode / A Page of Love / A Love Story (1877)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nana (1880)Description / Buy at Amazon
Restless House / Lesson in Love (1882)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ladies' Paradise / Lesson in Love (1883)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bright Side of Life / How Jolly Life Is / Zest for Life (1883)Description / Buy at Amazon
Germinal (1885)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Masterpiece / His Masterpiece (1886)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Soil / Earth (1887)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dream (1888)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Beast in Man / The Beast Within (1890)Description / Buy at Amazon
Money (1891)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Downfall / The Debacle (1892)Description / Buy at Amazon
Doctor Pascal (1893)Description / Buy at Amazon

Rougon-Macquart series by Emile Zola
Author Emile Zola penned the “Rougon-Macquart” series of novels, and was translated into English (from their original French) by Arthur Goldhammer. The books began publication in the year 1871, when “The Fortune of the Rougons” was released. The series wrapped up after twenty novels, with the release of “Le Docteur Pascal”, published in the year 1893.

When Emile was young, he found Honore de Balzac’s famous cycle “La Comedie humaine”. It had a profound effect on Zola, who decided he would pen a unique style all his own. The biggest difference is that while Balzac’s focused on an entire society, Emile’s only focuses on a single family.

The series follows around the members of the two titular branches of a fictional family that lived during the Second French Empire (1852-1870). It is one of the biggest works from the French naturalism literary movement.

Zola wrote a letter to his publisher, detailing his goals for the series. He said he wanted to study the entire Second Empire from coup d’etat to Zola’s time and study within a family questions of environments and blood.

He did not know when he started out just how many novels the series would have. Zola first told his publisher there would be ten books. By 1872, however, his list of novels had seventeen novels, although some of these would never be written, like one about a war in Italy. Others were added in later on.

The stories focus on the hereditary influence of things such as prostitution, violence, and alcoholism in a pair of branches within a single family. The legitimate (and therefore respectable) Rougon side and the illegitimate (and disreputable) Marquarts over five whole generations.

Before working on the books, he began by drawing out the family tree for the Rougon-Macquart, since his goal was to show the ways heredity is able to affect the lives of the descendants. It was modified quite a few times over the years, some of the members appeared or disappeared. The original tree still shows just how Zola planned out the whole entire cycle before he even wrote the first book.

He also thought of each book as a novel about a certain part of the life during his time. His list from 1872 included a novel about the war in Italy, a novel about “the defeat”, a political novel, and a scientific novel. He wound up settling on twenty later on, and even stated this at the beginning of a novel called “The Gin Palace”, released in the year 1877.

In the first book of the series, called “La Fortune des Rougon”, just about all of the main protagonists are introduced. The final novel in the cycle features a rather long chapter that ties up all the loose ends from other books. In between, there is not any “best sequence” to read these books, as there is no chronological order and actually impossible to arrange into any kind of order.

Some of the novels are direct sequels to one another, however, many follow directly from “La Fortune des Rougon”. There is quite a bit of overlap, chronologically speaking, between some of the books. There are also numerous recurring characters and many of them make “guest” appearances in the books centered around the other members of the family.

The BBC adapted the books into a twenty hour, twenty-seven episode radio drama series titled “Blood, Sex, and Money by Emile Zola”. It was broadcast over three seasons on BBC Radio 4 starting November 2015 and ending October 2016.

“The Fortune of the Rougons” is the first novel in the “Rougon-Macquart” series, which was released in the year 1871. She did not make any reply, but he still knew that she was staggering. He then handed the flag off to another of the insurgents and left the ranks, close to carrying the girl in his arms. She was struggling a little bit, feeling so distressed at looking like such a child. He claimed her, saying he knew of a cross-road that shortened the distance in half. They would be able to rest for an hour and get to Orcheres by the time the others did.

“The Kill” is the second novel in the “Rougon-Macquart” series, which was released in the year 1872. Renae Saccard’s incestuous affair with Maxime, her stepson, is set in front of the frenzied speculation of Aristide (Renae’s financier husband) in a Paris that is becoming a modern metropolis as well as the capital for the nineteenth century. The setting and the story merge together in the actions that leave a city’s soul and a woman’s spirit ravaged beyond any chance of repair.

“The Conquest of Plassans” is the fourth novel in the “Rougon-Macquart” series, which was released in the year 1874. Abbe Faujas’s arrival in Plassans has major consequences for the whole community, and for Francois Mouret’s family especially. Faujas, along with his mom, go to the lodge with Francois, his wife Marthe, and all three of their kids, and Marthe soon falls under the priest’s influence.

Unethical and ambitious, Fauja slowly but surely infiltrates all quarters of the town, with political intentions, and religious conquest. Slander, intrigue, and insinuation begin to tear the townsfolk right apart, stirring up distrust and suspicion, and pushing the Mourets to increasingly extreme actions.

“The Sinful Priest” is the fifth novel in the “Rougon-Macquart” series, which was released in the year 1875. Francois Mouret’s younger son, Serge Mouret, got ordained as a priest and then appointed Cure of Les Artaud, which is a squallid in Provence. These degenerate inhabitants he ministers with little encouragement. He inherited the taint of the Rougon-Macquart family, which within him took on the same form like his mom, a morbid religious enthusiasm that borders on hysteria.

Brain fever is what followed, and bodily recovery left this priest with no mental past. His uncle, Dr. Pascal Rougon, in an effort to save what was left of his reason, took him from his accustomed surroundings and dropped him at the Paradou. This is the neglected demesne of some ruined mansion-house close to Les Artaud, and he was nursed by the niece of the caretaker, Albine. The Abbe then fell in love with Albine. And, seeing as how he was oblivious of his vows, broke them.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Rougon-Macquart

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