The second novel in Zola’s twenty-volume Les Rougon-Macquart: Histoire naturelle et sociale d’une famille sous le Second Empire, La Curée (1872) is the first of the cycle to explore the French capital in the throes of modernization. Exploring themes of property speculation, material embellishment, and social aggrandizement synonymous with Haussmannization – the radical programme of urban renovation instituted by Napoleon III – La Curée is the story of the erotic, moral and financial corruption of the Parisian elites and the arrivistes. A biting critique of social and sexual mores and speculative and political malpractice, the novel centres on the life of Renée Saccard, the wife of Aristide …

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Harrow, Susan. "La Curée". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 August 2015
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]