Pot-Bouille [Potluck] was serialized in Le Gaulois from 23 January to 14 April 1882 and published in volume form by Charpentier that same year. It is the tenth of the twenty novels in Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series, a series designed to portray French society during the Second Empire by following the fate of a fictional family. Pot-Bouille and its sequel, Au bonheur des dames [The Ladies’ Paradise] (1883), tell the story of the handsome and charming provincial Octave Mouret, son of Marthe Rougon and Francois Mouret, a man with a passion for women and business, who comes to Paris as a twenty-two-year-old to make his fortune. Yet Pot-Bouille is also a story about life in an apartment …

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Muelsch, Elisabeth. "Pot-Bouille". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 August 2015
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11314, accessed 30 September 2016.]