Also known as The Belly of Paris and Le Ventre de Paris.
First published in 1873.
This is the third novel of Zola's twenty volume Rougon-Macquart series.
Translated from the French by Henry Vizetelly (1820-1894) in 1888.
The setting of this story is the enormous, bustling central food market Les Halles of 19th Century Paris where escaped prisoner Florent becomes fish inspector.
Titled inspired by the following quote:
"Let me have men about me that are fat:
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous."
--Shakespeare, act i, sc. 2., Julius Caesar.
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