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The Fortune of the Rougons

Émile Zola

Book Overview: 

The Fortune of the Rougons (French: La Fortune des Rougon), is the first novel in Émile Zola's monumental twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. In his introduction Zola indicates that this series is intended to demonstrate the interaction of heredity and environment along the lines of natural selection and evolution. While Zola's metascience is questionable, this novel is successful in its analysis of the interaction of momentous social and political events and the everyday lives and aspirations of a provincial society. In a satisfyingly intricate, vast and integrated plot, set in the time of Napoleon III's coup d'etat and establishment of the Second Empire, the fates and fortunes of the disparate descendents of one Provencal family are traced in detail. The novel ranges from idyll to cynical observation of base motives, and ends in a way that anticipates its many sequels. Summary by the soloist.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ould have liked to see her son dictating the law to the Civil Court of Plassans. At last she came to entertain a very unfavourable opinion of her first-born. To her mind this lazy fellow would never be the one to shed any lustre on the family. Pierre, on the contrary, felt absolute confidence in him, not that he had more intuition than his wife, but because external appearances sufficed him, and he flattered himself by believing in the genius of a son who was his living image. A month prior to the Revolution of February, 1848, Eugene became restless; some special inspiration made him anticipate the crisis. From that time forward he seemed to feel out of his element at Plassans. He would wander about the streets like a distressed soul. At last he formed a sudden resolution, and left for Paris, with scarcely five hundred francs in his pocket.

Aristide, the youngest son, was, so to speak, diametrically opposed to Eugene. He had his mother's face, and a covetousnes. . . Read More

Community Reviews

La Fortune des Rougon (Les Rougon-Macquart #1) = The Fortune of the Rougons, Émile Zola
The Fortune of the Rougons (French: 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 stor

“For a moment he [Doctor Pascal] thought he could see, in a flash, the future of the Rougon-Macquart family, a pack of wild, satiated appetites in the midst of a blaze of gold and blood.”

Émile Zola's The Fortune of the Rougons, the first of twenty novels in the Rougon-Macquart Series, is both an epi

It is daunting task, to both write and read a 20-volume series set during the 2nd Empire of France from 1850-1871. Yet, if Emile Zola is up to the task, I figured it was about time for me to start reading!
And this is Book 1 of the series and introduces us to the founding families upon which this sto

The opening number in Zola’s 20-piece novel orchestra is a piece of sweeping bombast, plunging us into the thorny, vicious world of the provincial bourgeoisie with the grace of a gangster lowering a snitch into a pool of sharks. Introducing us to the rise of the Rougons (as per title), two scheming

اولین رمان مجموعه بیست کتابی روگن-ماکار، کتاب تلخیه. کتاب روایتگر سرکوب خونین قیام مردم جنوب فرانسه بعد از کودتا و به قدرت رسیدن ناپلئون سومه و داستان اجداد خاندان روگن و ماکار رو در این بستر تاریخی روایت میکنه. اکثر شخصیت ها پست، حقیر، طماع، حریص و خودخواهن جوری که نفس آدم از شدت جمع شدن تمام این خ

This is the first in Zola's 20-novel series on Les Rougon Macquart: a series which depicts L'Histoire naturelle et sociale d'une famille sous le Second Empire.

Inspired by Honoré de Balzac, and borrowing (very loosely) on Balzac's theme of painting the human tableaux in his Comédie Humaine, Zola wro

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