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SEPT 2018 | Fiction
Eugène Sue owed his immense popularity to the series of sensational novels of Parisian low life, which he began in 1842 with Les Mystères de Paris (The Mysteries of Paris). The book appeared as a serial novel, or feuilleton, in the conservative newspaper Le Journal des Débats. The Mysteries of Paris provided its readers with an examination of working-class and criminal Paris that no novel had until then portrayed. Sues book, with its portraits of prostitutes, criminals, and villains of all stripes, who speak in their own language and move about in their own milieu, caused a scandal upon its release. Unlike his contemporaries, in The Mysteries of Paris Sue abandoned the drawing rooms of the beau monde for the dive bars and cabarets of central Paris, Ile de la Cité, where the story is set.