The funeral of Emil Zola, in October 1902, was also attended by thousands of people. Zola was buried in Montmartre Cemetery, and then six years later his remains were moved to the Pantheon next to the tomb of Victor Hugo.
Zola had completed his remarkable series of novels that traced the history of one family, Les Rougon-Macquart, in 1893. La Bette Humaine (or the Beast Within), published in 1890 towards the end of the 20 novel series, is set in the area surrounding Saint-Lazare station. The main protaganists in the novel are railway workers and the dark plot involves murder and political intrigue.
The Gare Saint-Lazare is one of six large railway terminus stations in Paris, and the second busiest.