*This special illustrated edition contains 16 engravings from designs by Horace Castelli (1825-1889). These plates adorned the pages of Vizetelly's 1886 English edition of 'Therese Raquin', and perfectly capture the passion and the madness of the two main protagonists. Indexed linked in the contents page for ease of reference and viewing pleasure.
When Therese's mother dies, her father places her in the custody of her aunt; an overbearing and selfish woman who dotes upon her sickly and egocentric son, Camille. Eventually married off to her spoilt cousin, Therese finds herself in a loveless union subject to the whims and fancies of a man undeserving of her love.
Therese then meets Laurent, a long time friend of her husband, with whom she embarks on a wildly passionate and sordid affair. But when work keeps Laurent from Therese's embrace they contrive a plan to finally free the girl from her domineering family. Will Therese and Laurent escape the shackles that imprison them or will the fate of Camille drive them to madness?
Written in 1867 and originally published as a serial, this erotically charged novel of lust and suspense was condemned in its day for its licentious, Emile Zola hitting back stating: "I have selected persons, absolutely swayed by their nerves and blood, deprived of free will, impelled in every action of life, by the fatal lusts of the flesh. Therese and Laurent are human brutes, nothing more. I have sought to follow these brutes, step by step, in the secret labour of their passions, in the impulsion of their instincts, in the cerebral disorder resulting from the excessive strain on their nerves."
Locus Elm Classic is proud to present this timeless masterpiece.