Émile Zola

Émile Zola

Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death 9 Sep 1902 (aged 62)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Plot Crypt XXIV Grave is opposite Victor Hugo.
Memorial ID 1362 · View Source
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Author. Born Émile-Édouard-Charles-Antoine Zola the son of Emilie Aubert and François Zola, a civil engineer. Although born in Paris, he spent much of his childhood in Aix-en-Provence where his father was employed. When his father died in 1847, the family was left in dire financial straits. By 1862, he was hired as a clerk at the publishing firm of L.C.F. Hachette, where he was did well enough to eventually be promoted to the advertising department. To supplement his income, however, he began to write articles as well as fiction. In 1865, his first novel, 'La Confession de Claude' (Claude’s Confession) was published. Considered sordid, his employer's disapproval forced his resignation, and he focused upon writing as a career. While still submitting articles for publication he also wrote several novels including 'Thérèse Raquin' (1867), 'Madeleine Férat' (1868), 'La Fortune des Rougon' (1871; The Rougon Family Fortune), and 'L’Oeuvre' (1886; The Masterpiece) which damaged his friendship with artists such as schoolmate, Paul Cézanne. His novel 'La Débacle' (1892), was openly critical of the French army and government, and it drew heated criticism. In 1898, he involved himself in the Dreyfus Affair. On January 13, 1898, the newspaper L’Aurore, carried his denunciation of the French general staff in an open letter: 'J’accuse' (I accuse). He charged the the War Office and the French government of anti-semitism and of concealing the truth in the wrongful conviction of Dreyfus. The government responded by charging him with libel. Found guilty, he fled to England in July 1899, when his appeal appeared about to fail. He returned to France a year later when the Dreyfus case was reviewed. His later works included 'Les Quatre Évangiles' (Four Gospels); 'Fécondité' (Fruitfulness) in 1900, 'Travail' (1901), Vérité (1903), and Justice, which was left incomplete. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902. He died at his home in Paris from carbon monoxide poisoning at 62. The morning of his death, at three in the morning, he and his wife awoke, feeling sick, but he stopped her rousing the servants. By daybreak she was discovered unconscious, and he was dead. Many found his death suspicious and suspected murder by anti-Dreyfusards. An inquest was ordered and tests conducted on the fireplaces of the Paris house found no blockages. The coroner refused to make the report public and announced the death had been due to natural causes. The matter is still the cause of much debate. An estimated 50,000 turned out for his funeral at Montmartre Cemetery. In 1908, his remains were exhumed and reinterred in the Pantheon.

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1362
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Émile Zola (2 Apr 1840–9 Sep 1902), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1362, citing The Pantheon, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .