The Conquest of Plassans (Rougon-Macquart): The Rougon family, in M. Zola's narrative, rises to fortune, and the town of Plassans (really Aix-en-Provence) bows down before its power. But time passes, the revolt of the clergy supervenes, by their influence the town chooses a Royalist Marquis as deputy, and it becomes necessary to conquer it once again. --- Abbe Faujas, by whom this conquest is achieved on behalf of the Empire, is a strongly conceived character, perhaps the most real of all the priests that are scattered through M. Zola's books. No other priestly creation of M. Zola's pen vie with the stern, chaste, authoritative, ambitious Faujas, the man who subdues Plassans, and who wrecks the home of the Mouret family, with whom he lives. The book largely deals with the matter of 'the priest in the house, ' and towards the end of the volume Mouret, the husband who has been driven mad and shut up in a lunatic asylum, returns home and wreaks the most terrible vengeance upon those who have wronged him. --- The pages which deal with the madman's escape and his horrible revenge are certainly among the most powerful that M. Zola has ever written, and have been commended for their effectiveness by several of his leading critics. --- (Ernest Alfred Vizetelly)"