Historical Figures

Emile Zola

Born in 1840 in Paris, Zola led a literary career. Successively a literary and political journalist, he enjoyed success thanks to his naturalist novels in which he depicted French society. In 1897, he became involved in the Dreyfus Affair, convinced of the innocence of the officer and revolted by anti-Semitism ambient. He publishes three articles in Le Figaro .

The conviction of the innocent Dreyfus and the acquittal of the real culprit led Zola to publish an article entitled “J’accuse…” in L’Aurore in January 1898. Reviving the debate on the case, Zola was sued for defamation. He is found guilty during his trial. Sentenced to prison and a fine, he went into exile in London. After Dreyfus' pardon, Zola will challenge the amnesty of the real culprits. In 1902, he died of poisoning from chimney smoke while he slept. After a political battle between Dreyfusard and Anti-Dreyfusard, Émile Zola's ashes were transferred to the Panthéon in 1906.

1840 - 1902




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