Synopses & Reviews
'Abbe Faujas has arrived!'
The arrival of Abbe Faujas in the provincial town of Plassans has profound consequences for the community, and for the family of François Mouret in particular. Faujas and his mother come to lodge with François, his wife Marthe, and their three children, and Marthe quickly falls under the influence of the priest. Ambitious and unscrupulous, Faujas gradually infiltrates into all quarters of the town, intent on political as well as religious conquest. Intrigue, slander, and insinuation tear the townsfolk apart, creating suspicion and distrust, and driving the Mourets to ever more extreme actions.
The fourth novel in Zola's Rougon-Macquart sequence, The Conquest of Plassans returns to the fictional Provençal town from which the family sprang in The Fortune of the Rougons. In one of the most psychological of his novels, Zola links small-town politics to the greater political and national dramas of the Second Empire.
The first modern translation for more than fifty years and the first critical edition, features a fascinating introduction and helpful notes by Man Booker Prize nominated novelist and poet Patrick McGuinness.
"Entertaining yet incisive, The Conquest of Plassans remains a devastatingly acute reminder that religion and politics make surprisingly compatible bedfellows." --The ArtsFuse
About the Author
was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism.
Helen Constantine was Head of Modern Languages at Bartholomew School near Oxford before retiring from teaching in 2000. She is now a full-time translator and editor. Her translations include Paris Tales (OUP, 2004), French Tales (OUP, 2008), Laclos, Dangerous Liaisons (Penguin, 2007), Gautier, Mademoiselle de Maupin (Penguin, 2005), Balzac, The Wild Ass's Skin (OUP, 2012). From 2003-12 she was co-editor of the international magazine Modern Poetry in Translation.
Patrick McGuinness is a poet and novelist whose first novel, The First Hundred Days was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2011. He has translated Mallarme, edited the works of Marcel Schwob, and written about Huysmans and other French authors. His poetry collections include The Canals of Mars and Jilted City (both Carcanet).