La Débâcle (reissue)

ISBN : 9780198801894

Emile Zola; Robert Lethbridge; Elinor Dorday
592 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
Jun 2017
Oxford World's Classics
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  • A compelling translation of one of Zola's most powerful novels, the nineteenth work in his famous Rougon-Macquart series that traces the fortunes of a family over five generations.
  • La Débâcle is a vivid portrayal of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1. It provides a graphic depiction of the disorganised and brutal war.
  • Includes an updated bibliography, chronology of the author, and helpful explanatory notes.
  • La Débâcle has been described as a 'seminal' work for all modern depictions of war.
  • The bestselling of all of Zola's novels during his lifetime

'My title speaks not merely of war, but also of the crumbling of a regime and the end of a world.' 
Émile Zola
The penultimate novel of the Rougon-Macquart cycle, La Débâcle (1892) takes as its subject the dramatic events of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune of 1870-1. During Zola's lifetime it was the bestselling of all his novels, praised by contemporaries for its epic sweep as well as for its attention to historical detail.
La Débâcle seeks to explain why the Second Empire ended in a crushing military defeat and revolutionary violence. It focuses on ordinary soldiers, showing their bravery and suffering in the midst of circumstances they cannot control, and includes some of the most powerful descriptions Zola ever wrote. Zola skilfully integrates his narrative of events and the fictional lives of his characters to provide the finest account of this tragic chapter in the history of France. Often compared to War and PeaceLa Débâcle has been described as a 'seminal' work for all modern depictions of war.


Note on the Translation
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Emile Zola
The Franco-Prussian War and the Comune
La Débâcle
The Financial Characters
Explanatory Nnotes

About the author: 

Émile Zola
Elinor Dorday and Edited by Robert Lethbridge, Master of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, 2005-2013
Elinor Dorday studied French and Russian at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and translation at the British Institute in Paris (University of London).
Robert Lethbridge was the seventh Master of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge from 2005 - 2013. He has edited Zola's L'Assommoir and Germinal for Oxford World's Classics.

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