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La Débâcle is a novel by Émile Zola published in 1892, the penultimate in les Rougon-Macquart series. The story is set against the background of the political and military events that ended the reign of Napoléon III and the Second Empire in 1870, in particular the Franco-Prussian War, the Battle of Sedan and the Paris Commune. The novel has been translated as The Debacle and The Downfall. The late nineteenth century English novelist George Gissing tried to read the novel in French in February 1896, through "intervals of rage", but without specifying what was the cause.
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