London, South Kensington
1 June 2009
ZOLA, Emile (1840-1902). Autograph manuscript signed, of a preface to the second edition of Mystères de Marseille, Médan, July 1884, including cancellations and emendations, on light-weight blue paper, 6 pages, 8vo.
Zola's defiant justification for the re-publication of an early work, recounting how he wrote it concurrently with Therèse Raquin: 'lorsque le matin j'avais mis parfois quatre heures pour trouver deux pages de ce roman, je bâclais l'après midi, en une heure, les sept ou huit pages des Mystères de Marseille. Ma journée était gagnée, je pouvais manger le soir'. Mystères de Marseille, a novel of romance and intrigue set against the events of 1848, was published first in 1867-68. He regarded it as of little worth, but re-issued it in 1884 to counter reports that he was ashamed of his early works, some of which, as he emphasises here, were necessary to earn his living.
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