French author, Eugène Sue (1804 – 1857) was born near the city of Cannes in southern France and came from a distinguished family of doctors. Like his father, Sue also studied medicine. He began his career as a naval doctor but retired in 1829 to write.
In 1842 he began writing Les Mystères de Paris, a novel in parts published serially in Le Journal des Débats. It was the first time in a novel that readers had been exposed to the social agitation and mixing of classes experienced in the bars and cabarets of Paris’s dense core on Ile de la Cité.
His complete works, depending on the edition, run to 78 volumes.
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.
NOV 2018 | Fiction
he Schoolmaster and the Owl, lurking in an alley just opposite the bar, watched as Chourineur walked down the street alongside a house that was being demolished. Soon, his steps, made heavy by the evening’s abundant libations, were lost in the howling wind and the splattering of the rain against the walls. Tom and Sarah left the tavern in spite of the storm and headed in the direction away from Chourineur.
OCT 2018 | Fiction
The reader may recall the two patrons in the bar who were under close observation by a third person who had arrived sometime after them. As mentioned, one of the two men wore a Greek cap, kept his left hand hidden, and had, upon entering the premises, inquired of the Abbess regarding the arrival of the Schoolmaster.
DEC 18-JAN 19 | Fiction
La Goualeuse remained seated on the overturned tree trunk. Suddenly, a man rose from the bottom of the ditch, shook the bedding beneath which he had been sleeping, and exploded with laughter. La Goualeuse turned and shrieked with fright. It was Chourineur.