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Groundbreaking drama serialisation of all 20 novels in Zola’s epic Rougon-Macquart family saga.
Glenda Jackson stars in this award-winning BBC Radio series, inspired by literature’s greatest ever whistle-blower, Émile Zola, and his epic saga of the Rougon-Macquart family.
First published between 1870 and 1893, Émile Zola’s 20-book cycle chronicling four generations of the Rougon-Macquarts was a shocking exposé of the decadence, degradation and moral decay of 19th-century France. It included some of his greatest novels, among them his masterpiece, Germinal.
These innovative, ambitious dramas, first broadcast on Radio 4 over 24 hours in 2015-16, are a radical reimagining of Zola’s classic series, introducing us to 104-year-old matriarch Dide, imprisoned in an asylum in southern France. Trapped but omniscient, she broods over her ‘family of wolves’. As a young woman, she gave birth to two dynasties that exemplified French society. One legitimate – rich, powerful, obsessive and corrupt. The other illegitimate – poor, vulnerable, weak and depraved.