The Disappearance of Émile Zola

Love, Literature, and the Dreyfus Case

The incredible story of Émile Zola's escape to London in the aftermath of the scandalous Dreyfus Affair.

It is the evening of July 18, 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Émile Zola is on the run. His crime? Taking on the highest powers in the land with his open letter "J'accuse"—and losing. Forced to leave Paris with nothing but the clothes he is standing in and a nightshirt wrapped in newspaper, Zola flees to England with no idea when he will return.

This is the little-known story of Zola's time in exile. Rosen has traced Zola's footsteps from the Gare du Nord to London, examining the significance of this year. The Disappearance of Émile Zola offers an intriguing insight into the mind, the loves, and the politics of the great writer during this tumultuous era in his life.

Michael Rosen MA, PhD, is a poet, broadcaster, former Children's Laureate, and a recipient of one of France's top honors: Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His children's book We're Going on a Bear Hunt has sold over 8 million copies. He has presented Radio 4's "Word of Mouth" since 1996 and his program "Zola in Norwood'" was broadcast on Radio 3 in 2015. He is Professor of Children's Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.