The Ladies' Paradise, By Emile Zola
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Saturday 20 October 2012
Whatever the logical ins and outs of its transfer from Belle Epoque Paris to a northern English city, the BBC's Victorian potboiler has given a new lease of cross-Channel life to Emile Zola's 1883 novel of nascent consumer culture.
Brian Nelson's lively translation of Au Bonheur des Dames, which was inspired by the revolutionary "Bon Marché" department store, reminds us that this was a ground-breaking book about a seismic shift in social behaviour and gender roles: the first shopping-and-striving epic.
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- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
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Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are