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Denise's story is played against the career of Octave Mouret, the owner of Au Bonheur des Dames, whose retail innovations and store expansions threaten the existence of all the neighborhood shops.

1877 novels

Under one roof, Octave has gathered textiles silks , woolens as well as all manner of ready-made garments dresses , coats , lingerie , gloves , accessories necessary for making clothes, and ancillary items like carpeting and furniture. His aim is to overwhelm the senses of his female customers, forcing them to spend by bombarding them with an array of buying choices and by juxtaposing goods in enticing and intoxicating ways. Massive advertising, huge sales, home delivery, and a system of refunds and novelties such as a reading room and a snack bar further induce his female clientele to patronize his store in growing numbers.

In the process, he drives the traditional retailers who operate smaller speciality shops out of business. In Pot-Bouille , an earlier novel, Octave is depicted as a ladies' man, sometimes inept, who seduces or attempts to seduce women who can give him some social or financial advantage. In Au Bonheur des Dames , he uses a young widow to influence a political figure—modeled after Baron Haussmann —in order to gain frontage access to a huge thoroughfare, the present day rue de Quatre-Septembre , for the store.

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Despite his contempt for women, Octave finds himself slowly falling in love with Denise, whose refusal to be seduced by his charms further inflames him. The book ends with Denise admitting her love for Octave. Her marriage with Octave is seen as a victory for women, by her conquest of a man whose aim is to subjugate and exploit women using their own senses.

Zola designed the Rougon-Macquart novels to demonstrate how heredity and environment operate on the members of one family over the course of the Second French Empire. In this case, the environment is the department store.

translations « The Books of Émile Zola

Octave Mouret is introduced briefly in La fortune des Rougon. The BBC used the novel as the basis for an eight-part television series set in northern England titled The Paradise and broadcast in The BBC launched a second series in October The novel was also adapted as an Italian language television series in , Il Paradiso delle Signore , which has run for three seasons and stars Giuseppe Zeno and Giusy Buscemi.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the French band, see Au Bonheur des Dames band.

Vizetelly, Ernest Alfred 1853-1922

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Retrieved September 24, Oxford World's Classics. Penguin Classics.

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In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road received a gift that would leave a lasting impression Widely regarded as Zola's masterpiece, the novel describes the working conditions of French coalminers in the s in harsh and realistic terms.

It is visceral, graphic, and unrelenting Nana Coupeau is a beautiful woman, able to attract men of enormous wealth with the crook of her finger. The irresistible power of money, a lever that can lift the world. Love and money are the only things Brutal, gripping, and heart-wrenching, L'Assommoir also known as The Drinking Den chronicles the tragic downward spiral of Gervaise Macquart, a good-natured and hardworking laundress who slides into alcoholism and despair Sex, betrayal, murder and corruption form the basis of this sensational novel by one of the leading French authors of the 19th century Emile Zola.

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