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The Ladies' Paradise is a compelling story of ambition and love set against the backdrop of the spectacular rise of the department store in 1860s Paris. Now adapted for BBC Television and given a British setting in The Paradise, Zola's novel is a masterly portrayal of life in the bustling, gossipy world of the best department store in town.
Brian Nelson is an Emeritus Professor of French Studies and Translation at Monash University, Melbourne. He is the author or editor of twelve books on aspects of modern French and European culture, including The Cambridge Companion to Emile Zola, and he has translated four other Zola novels for the Oxford World's Classics series.