A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola; eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 288 pages of information about A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola;.

FOUGERAY (MADEMOISELLE DE), eldest daughter of the Baronne de Fougeray.  She entered a convent, because it was said, a young man with whom she was in love had died.  The event created much talk in all classes of society in Paris.  Nana.

FOUQUE (ADELAIDE), generally known as Aunt Dide, the common ancestress of the Rougon-Macquarts, born at Plassans in 1768, was the last representative of a family who had owned a market-garden there for several generations.  “This girl, whose father died insane, was a long, lank, pale creature, with a scared look and strange gait.”  In 1786, six months after the death of her father, she married one of her own workmen, named Rougon, “a rough-hewn peasant from the Basses Alpes.”  Rougon died fifteen months after his marriage, leaving a son named Pierre.  Scarcely a year had elapsed before the widow took as her lover a man named Macquart, who lived in a hovel adjoining her own property, and two children were born.  The legitimate son, Pierre Rougon, was brought up along with his half brother and sister, Antoine and Ursule, with whom, however, he was not on good terms.  From her eighteenth year Adelaide was subject to nervous fits, which brought on convulsions, and though she was not yet insane, these repeated shocks produced cerebral disorders.  “She lived from day to day like a child; like a fawning animal yielding to its instincts.”  These conditions continued for about twenty years, till the death of Macquart, and the children grew up as best they could.  By this time Pierre realized the situation, and playing upon his mother’s mental weakness, he brought her completely under his sway.  On the death of Macquart, Adelaide went to live in the hovel bequeathed to her by him, and Pierre sold the family property, appropriating the price.  Living at first entirely alone, her intellect became more and more affected by the recurring convulsive fits.  Subsequently her grandson Silvere Mouret lived with her, but after his execution, of which she was a witness, she became quite insane.  La Fortune des Rougon.

She was always under restraint, and remained a living sore to the family.  The little property which belonged to her son Antoine Macquart was close to the asylum where she was confined, and Pierre Rougon seemed to have placed him there to look after her.  Adelaide seldom spoke, and for twelve years had never moved from her chair.  La Conquete de Plassans.

At 104 years old she was still living in the asylum at Les Tulettes.  She was little better than a skeleton, and in her long, thin face it was only in the eyes that there was any sign of life.  Immovable in her chair, she remained from year to year like a spectre, calling up the horrors of her family history.  A sudden accident, the death of little Charles Saccard from nasal hemorrhage, wakened in her sleeping brain recollections of years before; she saw again the murder of Silvere, killed by a pistol-shot, and she saw also her lover Macquart, the smuggler, killed like a dog by the gendarmes.  The shock proved too much for her feeble strength, and she died the following day (in 1873), aged 105 years, three months, and seven days.  Le Docteur Pascal.

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A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola; from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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