14 September 2017

Paris 2017: Cimetière du Montparnasse: #13: Aristide Boucicaut

I wasn't aware of the influence of Aristide Boucicaut (1810–1877) on Émile Zola, and although it's not my policy to include business people in any blog posts, this is an exception. Boucicaut was the founder of the first department store. Le Bon Marché was the first modern shop of its kind, one copied not only in France but throughout the world. Zola was inspired to write about it in his novel Au bonheur des dames (1883), and of course more recently Daniel Pennac's novel about the departmental store scapegoat Malaussène, Au bonheur des ogres (1985), punned on Zola's title.

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