Emile Zola, Germinal [Germinal]

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(1885) is the thirteenth novel belonging to Émile Zola’s vast twenty-volume series,

Les Rougon-Macquart

(1871-1893), in which, by tracing the fortunes of the various members of a single family, the writer sought to study the effects of hereditary influences and environmental factors on his characters and present a panoramic view of the society of the Second Empire (1852-1870), presided over by Napoleon III. Set in the coalfields of northern France during the period March 1866 to April 1867 and dealing with a miners’ strike,


was less controversial when it appeared than




, and


, but it has maintained its standing as one of the novelist’s finest achievements and as a prototype of the novel of political, social and industrial strife,…

2907 words

Citation: Baguley, David. "Germinal". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 December 2011 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11316, accessed 22 April 2024.]

11316 Germinal 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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