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Son Excellence Eugène Rougon


Son Excellence Eugène Rougon is the sixth novel in the Rougon-Macquart series by Émile Zola. It was serialized in 1876 in Le Siècle before being published in novel form by Charpentier. It was translated into English by Mary Neal Sherwood (as Clorinda) in 1880, by Kenward Philp (as The Mysteries of Louis Napoleon's Court) in 1884, by Ernest A. Vizetelly in 1897 (reprinted 2006), by Alec Brown in 1958, and by Brian Nelson in 2018.The novel is set in the highest echelons of Second Empire government. It follows the career of Eugène Rougon and a dozen or so of his cronies as they jockey for political favor and personal gain, and embraces the public and personal life of Emperor Napoleon III. The main character is Eugène Rougon (b. 1811), the eldest son of Pierre and Félicité Rougon. Eugène is first introduced in La fortune des Rougon as a key player in the coup d'état of 1851 which established Napoleon III as Emperor of the French. Eugène's maneuverings establish his parents' control over the town of Plassans and lay the foundations for solidifying the family fortune. Eugène, acknowledged as one of the prime movers in legitimizing the Emperor, has remained in Paris to further his quest for power. Eugène's brothers are Pascal, who is the main character of Le docteur Pascal, and Aristide, whose story is told in La curée and L'argent. He also has two sisters: Sidonie, who appears in La curée, and Marthe, one of the protagonists of La conquête de Plassans.
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series: Les Rougon-Macquart
original title: Son Excellence Eugène Rougon
date of publication: 1876
genre: novel
movement: naturalism

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