Emile Zola, La Curée

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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


. 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 Rougon (or “Saccard”). Renée’s


, her passion for her sexually indeterminate…

1970 words

Citation: Harrow, Susan. "La Curée". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 August 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11311, accessed 22 April 2024.]

11311 La Curée 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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