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Émile François Zola

Birthplace: Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death: September 29, 1902 (62)
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France (Carbon monoxide poisoning)
Place of Burial: Paris, Île-de-France, France
Immediate Family:

Son of François Zola and Émilie Aurélie Zola
Husband of Eléonore Alexandrine Zola
Partner of Jeanne Sophie Adèle Rozerot
Father of Denise Emile Zola and Dr. Jacques Emile Zola

Occupation: Writer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Émile Zola

  • Émile Zola est un écrivain et journaliste français, né à Paris le 2 avril 1840 et mort dans la même ville le 29 septembre 1902. Considéré comme le chef de file du naturalisme, c’est l'un des romanciers français les plus populaires[1], les plus publiés, traduits et commentés au monde. Ses romans ont connu de très nombreuses adaptations au cinéma et à la télévision[N 1].

Sa vie et son œuvre ont fait l'objet de nombreuses études historiques. Sur le plan littéraire, il est principalement connu pour Les Rougon-Macquart, fresque romanesque en vingt volumes dépeignant la société française sous le Second Empire et qui met en scène la trajectoire de la famille des Rougon-Macquart, à travers ses différentes générations et dont chacun des représentants d'une époque et d'une génération particulière fait l'objet d'un roman.

Les dernières années de sa vie sont marquées par son engagement dans l'affaire Dreyfus avec la publication en janvier 1898, dans le quotidien L'Aurore, de l'article intitulé « J'accuse » qui lui a valu un procès pour diffamation et un exil à Londres dans la même année.

  • Émile François Zola (French pronunciation: [ zɔ.la]; 2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse.

Early Life

Zola was born in Paris in 1840. His father, François Zola (originally Francesco Zolla), was an Italian engineer. With his French wife Émilie Aurélie Aubert, the family moved to Aix-en-Provence in the southeast, when Émile was three years old. Four years later in 1847, his father died leaving his mother on a meager pension. In 1858 the Zolas moved to Paris, where Émile's childhood friend Paul Cézanne soon joined him. Zola started to write in the romantic style. His widowed mother had planned a law career for Émile but he failed his Baccalauréat examination.

Before his breakthrough as a writer, Zola worked as a clerk in a shipping firm and then in the sales department for a publisher (Hachette). He also wrote literary and art reviews for newspapers. As a political journalist, Zola did not hide his dislike of Napoleon III, who had successfully run for the office of President under the constitution of the French Second Republic, only to misuse this position as a springboard for the coup d'état that made him emperor.


Zola died of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a stopped chimney. He was 62 years old. His enemies were blamed because of previous attempts on his life but nothing could be proved. (Decades later, a Parisian roofer claimed on his deathbed to have closed the chimney for political reasons).[4] Addresses of sympathy arrived from all parts of France; for a week the vestibule of his house was crowded with notable writers, scientists, artists and politicians, who came to inscribe their names in the registers. On the other hand, Zola's enemies used the opportunity to celebrate in malicious glee.[5] Thus, Henri Rochefort wrote a piece in "L'Intransigeant", claiming Zola had committed suicide, having discovered Dreyfus to be in fact guilty. Zola was initially buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris but on 4 June 1908, almost six years after his death, his remains were moved to the Panthéon, where he shares a crypt with Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.

Source: Wikipedia

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Émile Zola's Timeline

April 2, 1840
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
September 20, 1889
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
September 25, 1891
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
September 29, 1902
Age 62
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
June 4, 1908
Age 62
Paris, Île-de-France, France