WATCH: Michael Rosen on The Disappearance of Émile Zola

In Michael Rosen’s new study of Émile Zola’s 1898 exile from Paris, the little-known history of the novelist’s year-long refuge in London is revealed in all its fascinating detail. Running from the law in France, having been prosecuted for attempting to take on the country’s highest powers with his now infamous open letter ‘J’accuse’, this book, in the words of Rosen himself, tells the story ‘of a moment in the life of Émile Zola, where he made a stand against prejudice, injustice and corrupt power’.

In this film, Michael Rosen explains how he wrote the book, why he wanted to write it and what relevance the story has for us today.

Zola took a stand about a popular prejudice, a prejudice that was taken by many to be the opposite of prejudice, as a kind of reform or progress, the dawn of a new era,  Zola called that prejudice a hypocritical form of socialism.

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