Emile Zola, La Terre [Earth]

Andrew Counter (University of Oxford)
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The fifteenth novel in Zola’s

Les Rougon-Macquart


La Terre


The Earth


The Land

] was serialized in

Le Gil Blas

between 29 May and 16 September 1887, and published in volume form in November of the same year. Within the grand sociological sweep of Zola’s series (identified in its subtitle as an “histoire naturelle et sociale” [“natural and social history”]),

La Terre

is devoted to an exploration of the lives of the peasant class; peasant characters had featured in the 1875 novel

La Faute de l’abbé Mouret


Father Mouret’s Sin

], but only in the background. Compositionally one of Zola’s most ambitious novels,

La Terre

features a particularly large cast of characters, and documents a ten year period in the life of a rural community, the village of Rognes in the…

1759 words

Citation: Counter, Andrew. "La Terre". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 January 2011 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11317, accessed 22 April 2024.]

11317 La Terre 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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