Emile Zola 2

Just south of the Gare Saint-Lazare is the busy shopping area centred on the Boulevard Haussmann. Zola’s second novel in the Rougon-Macquart series, called La Curee (or The Kill), describes the upheaval that accompanied the construction, in the mid nineteenth century, of the new wide avenues across Paris as planned by Baron Haussmann.

Thousands of dark, unsanitary, dilapidated buildings were removed to make way for the new tree-lined streets. Zola admired the modernisation of Paris, but in his novel tells the darker tale of the corruption and greed involved in the buying and selling of property that accompanied the new construction.

Boulevard Haussmann Paris

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