Emile Zola: Thérèse Raquin

(2803 words)
  • Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze (University of Durham)

Even though Thérèse Raquin (1867) is not Zola’s first novel (La Confession de Claude [Claude’s Confession] was written two years earlier in 1865), it is usually regarded as his first masterpiece and a worthy precursor to the famous twenty-volume cycle of Les Rougon-Macquart: Histoire naturelle et sociale d’une famille sous le Second Empire [The Rougon-Macquart: A Social and Natural History of a Family Under the Second Empire] (1871-1893). In this novel of adulterous sex, murder, remorse and madness, Zola first applies to telling effect his newly-acquired naturalist theories, as he claims in his preface to the second …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Dousteyssier-Khoze, Catherine. "Thérèse Raquin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 June 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11307, accessed 07 July 2015.]