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The Fortune of the Rougons
Émile Zola
Project Gutenberg
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La Fortune des Rougon, originally published in 1871, is the first novel in Émile Zola's monumental twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. The novel is partly an origin story, with a huge cast of characters swarming around - many of whom become the central figures of later novels in the series - and partly an account of the December 1851 coup d'état that created the French Second Empire under Napoleon III as experienced in a large provincial town in southern France.