About the Society
The Emile Zola Society was founded in 1990 at the Institut français du Royaume Uni with the patronage of the then French Ambassador to the UK.
The Society aims to promote interest in Emile Zola, his works, life and times. We offer a friendly forum of both academics and non-academics.
We meet regularly for talks and discussions (almost invariably in English) on Zola and his contemporaries, on films based on his novels, fin-de-siècle Paris, Impressionist painters, and other relevant subjects.
In the summer and autumn, we organise visits to places of interest. Our annual Bulletin publishes articles, reviews and details of our activities.
A typical annual programme is as follows:
First Sunday in October - Zola ‘Pélerinage’ to Médan. Meeting at St Lazare Station, Paris, train to Villennes, lunch at a local restaurant, followed by commemorative events at Zola’s House. A coach takes the visitors back from Médan to Villennes Station and a train back to St Lazare.
December - AGM, followed by a talk and pre-Christmas drinks.
February - a lecture (in English) on a Zola-related subject.
March - annual ‘Saturday Seminar’ during which four papers on Zola and related topics are presented.
April - annual dinner, ‘Avec Zola à table’.
June - a talk on Zola and his work.
July - an outing ‘In the footsteps of Zola’ (places visited by Zola: Crystal Palace, Henley, Hatfield, Darwin’s House, etc.)
The Zola Zoom Book Club is a new and popular initiative started in the Winter 2021 when Covid prevented us from meeting in person. The Book Club takes place monthly and provides an online forum where members give informal presentations on topics of interest related to Zola. It is planned that this should continue in 2021-22.