The Annotated list of characters in Emile Zola's La
J. G. Patterson. A Zola dictionary; the
characters of the
Rougon-Macquart novels of Emile Zola; with a biographical and criticial
introduction, synopses of the plots, bibliographical note, map,
genealogy, etc. London G. Routledge, 1912.
Compiled: Stephen Balbach, November 2008. email@example.com
Copyright: Public Domain
Note: This is the no-spoiler version it
has been abridged to remove the worst of the plot spoilers. To see the
full version see here.
*Auguste - a young swine-herd at La Bordcrie. She assisted
Soulas, the old shepherd, to look after the sheep.
*Badeuil, Charles - married Laure Fouan, and went to live at
Chartres. He tried commerce without much success, and, haunted by a
desire for rapid fortune, acquired a whore house which had fallen into
bad repute through mismanagement. Thanks to the firm control of Badeuil,
and the extraordinary activity of his wife, the establishment prospered,
and in less than twenty-five years the couple had saved three hundred
thousand francs. They were then able to realize the dream of their life,
and to retire to the country, where they purchased a property named
Roseblanche, near Madame Badeuil's native place. M. Badeuil was a
handsome man, sixty-five years of age, with a solemn face, and the air
of a retired magistrate. He was respected by his neighbours, and held
the strictest views on morality. The old couple lived in complete
happiness, their only worry being that Vaucogne, who had married their
daughter Estelle and taken over the property in Chartres.
*Badeuil, Madame Laube - wife of Charles, was the youngest
daughter of Joseph Casimir Fouan. She was the sister of La Grande, of
Pere Fouan, and of Michel Fouan, known as Mouche. When her father's
estate was divided, she got no land, but received an indemnity in money
instead. After she and her husband acquired the establishment in
Chartres, she assisted ably in its management. At the time of their
retirement to the country, she was a woman of sixty-two years of age, of
respectable appearance and an air of religious seclusion. She set a good
example by going regularly to Mass, and paid great attention to the
education of her granddaughter, Elodie, whom she endeavored to bring up
in entire ignorance of life. She had, however, still a passion for
active life, and in busy seasons frequently returned to Chartres to
assist her daughter, who had taken over the establishment there.
*Badeuil, Estelle - daughter of Charles and Madame Badeuil, was
educated by the Sisters of the Visitation at Chateaudun, and at eighteen
was married to Hector Vaucogne, by whom she had one daughter,
*Baillehache - a notary at Cloyes, was born in 1805, and
succeeded to several generations of lawyers. He had a large business
amongst the peasantry, in whose quarrels he mediated with professional
calmness. He arranged the division of Fouan's property between the
various members of the old man's family.
*Baillehache, Mademoiselle - eldest sister of Baillehache, was
born in 1799. She was plain-looking, but goodhearted, and at thirty-two
married Alexandre Hourdequin, to whom she brought a considerable dowry.
She had two children, a son and a daughter, and died in 1855.
*Becu - gamekeeper and bell-ringer at Rognes, was a man of fifty
years of age who had at one time been in the army. He was an intense
Bonapartist, and pretended that he had met the Emperor. Himself a
confirmed drunkard, he was on friendly terms with Hyacinthe Fouan, whose
poaching expeditions he over-looked.
*Becu, La - wife of Becu, was on intimate terms with Hyacinthe
Fouan. Her chief amusement was to throw Celine Macqueron and Flore
Lengaigne against one another under the pretext of reconciling them.
Though she was not devout, she made ardent intercessions to Heaven to
reserve for her son a lucky number in the drawing for the conscription,
but, after the event, turned her anger against the Deity because her
prayers had not been answered.
*Becu, Delphin - son of the Becu's, was a strong lad who, on
leaving school, went to work as a farm labourer.
*Becu, Michel - uncle of Delphin. He died at Orleans.
*Blanchette - a cow which belonged to Lise and Francoise
*Bouteroue, Hilarion - second child of Vincent Bouteroue, and
grandson of Marianne Fouan (La Grande). He was something of a
*Bouteroue, Palmyre - sister of Hilarion, worked like a slave in
support of her brother.
*Bouteroue, Vincent - a poor peasant, whom ? insisted on
marrying, despite the opposition of her mother La Grande.
*Briquet - a peasant of Rognes. His son drew a number for the
*Buteau - second son of Pere Fouan ; brother of Hyacinthe ("Jesus
Christ") and of Fanny Delhomme ; cousin and husband of Lise Mouche ;
father of Jules and Laure. From early youth he was of violent temper,
and having drawn a lucky number in the conscription, he went away from
home, and got work, first at the farm of La Borderie and later at La
Chamade. He was a true son of the soil, knowing nothing of the world
beyond the narrow district in which he was born, and possessing that
fierce passion for the land which is the characteristic of so many
*Buteau, Jules - the eldest child of Buteua and Lise, who were
not married till three years after his birth.
*Buteau, Laure - the second child of the Buteaus.
*Canon - see Leroi.
*Cesar - a bull at the farm of La Borderie.
*Chedeville, De - deputy for Eure-et-Loir under the Empire. He
was an old beau who had flourished in the reign of Louis Philippe, and
was still supposed to have Orleanist sympathies, though his reputed
friendship with the Emperor was sufficient to secure his success at the
polls. He had gone through all his money, and had now only the farm of
La Chamade left.
*Clou - Municipal Councilor at Rognes. He played the trombone at
choral services in church.
*Cognet - a roadman at Rognes. He was an old drunkard, who beat
his daughter unmercifully.
*Cognet, Jacqueline, alias La Cognette - daughter of
Cognet. She went to La Borderie at the age of twelve years, and before
long had several lovers.
*Coliche, La - a fine cow which belonged to the Mouche family and
was a great favorite with them.
*Coquart, Les - proprietors of the farm of Saint-Juste, which,
however, they were forced by bad times to sell. The family consisted of
the father, mother, three sons, and two daughters.
*Couillot, Les - peasants at Rognes. Their son got the number 206
in the drawing for the conscription.
*Delhomme - was the son-in-law of Pere Fouan, whose daughter
Fanny he married. He was the owner of a small farm, which he managed so
well that he became one of the richest of the peasant proprietors at
Rognes. He was a man of calm, upright nature, and was frequently
selected as arbiter in petty disputes.
*Delhomme, Madame, also known as Fanny Fouan - wife of
*Delhomme, Ernest, known as Nenesse - son of the
Delhomme's. From childhood he had a fancy for dressing himself up and
aping the city lads, and as he had always a dislike of the land he went
to Chartres to assist in a restaurant, with which was connected a public
*Empereur - one of the dogs of the shepherd Soulas. He was a
fierce animal, and, like his master, hated Jacqueline Cognet.
*Finet - a doctor of medicine who resided at Cloyes. He was
disgusted by the brutality of his patients, whom he accused of always
sending for him when it was too late.
*Fouan, Hyacinthe, also known as Jesus Christ - the elder
son of Pere Fouan and Rose Maliveme, his wife. He was an idler and
drunkard, who, when he had left the army, after having seen service in
Africa, had taken to tramp the fields, refusing to do any regular work,
but living by theft and poaching, as though he were still looting a
trembling nation of Bedouins. Withal there looked out of his fine,
sunken eyes a merriment that was not altogether evil, the open heart of
good-humoured drunkenness. He lived with his daughter in a ruined hut
amongst the ruins of an ancient castle near Rognes.
*Fouan, Joseph Casimir - the father of Marianne, Louis, Michel,
and Laure. Born in 1766, he belonged to a family of peasant proprietors
which for centuries had owned land, in varying quantities, in the
neighborhood of Rognes. They were originally serfs of the
Roques-Bouqucval family. Bit by bit they acquired their land, until,
when the Revolution of 1789 arrived, the Fouan of that day, Joseph
Casimir, was the owner of twenty-one acres — the conquest of four
centuries from the seigneurial territory. When, in 1793, the rest of the
estate was declared national property and sold in lots by auction, he
was too timid to purchase any, and had the mortification to see La
Borderie sold to Isidore Hourdequin, a citizen of Chateaudun, for a
fifth of its value. When he became old he divided his twenty-one acres
between three of his family, Marianne, Louis, and Michel, and gave a
corresponding sum of money to his younger daughter Laure, who had been
brought up as a sempstress and was in service at Chateaudun.
*Fouan, Lauee - younger daughter of the preceding. See Madame
*Fouan, Louis - known as Pere Fouan. He was the son of
Joseph Casimir Fouan, and married Rose Maliverne, by whom he had three
children, Hyacinthe, Buteau, and Fanny. He received seven acres of land
from his father, and his wife brought him twelve acres more. This land
he cultivated well, and with a passion for the soil, as such, which
amounted to frenzy.
*Fouan, Marianne - see La Grande.
*Fouan, Michel - see Pere Mouche.
*Fouan, Olympe, also known as La Trouille - daughter of
Hyacinthe. Her mother, who was a tramp, ran off when the child was three
years old, leaving her to grow up as best she could. She was
passionately fond of geese, of which she had a large flock.
*Fousset, Le Pere - tenant of the farm of Millouard, in the
Canton of Orgeres. He was a victim of the band of brigands commanded by
*Firmat - an old peasant of Rognes who was a neighbour of Mouche.
*Firmat, La - wife of the preceding. She was well known in the
village for her knowledge of animals, and was frequently consulted when
it would otherwise have been necessary to call in a veterinary surgeon.
*Gedeon - an ass which belonged to Mouche. It was very
*Godard, Abbe - cure of Bazoches-le-Doyen. The authorities of
Rogues, which was in his parish, refused to provide for a priest of
their own, and Abbe Godard, in order to perform Mass, had to walk each
Sunday the three kilometres which separated the two communes. He was a
short, stout man of hasty temper, who was disgusted with the
indifference and irreligion of his parishioners, and his services were
the shortest and baldest possible. In spite of his temper, he had,
however, a passion for the miserable, and to these he gave everything —
his money, his linen, almost the clothes off his back.
*Grande, La - elder daughter of Joseph Casimir Fouan, and sister
of Pere Fouan, Michel Mouche, and Laure Badeuil. Married to a neighbour,
Antoine Pechard, she brought to him seven acres of land against eighteen
which he had of his own. Early left a widow, she turned out her only
daughter, who, against her mother's will, wished to marry a poor lad
named Vincent Bouteroue. The girl and her husband died of want, leaving
two children, Palmyre and Hilarion, whom their grandmother refused to
assist. At eighty years of age, respected and feared by the Fouan
family, not for her age but for her fortune, she exacted the obedience
of all, and still directed the management of her land.
*Grosbois - a Government surveyor who had also a small farm at
Magnoues, a little village near Rognes. Liable to be summoned from
Orgeres to Beaugency for purposes of survey, he left the management of
his own land to his wife, and in the course of these constant excursions
he acquired such a habit of drinking that he was never seen sober. That
mattered little, however ; the more drunk he was the better he seemed to
see; he never made a wrong measurement or an error in calculation.
People listened to him with respect, for he had the reputation of being
a sly, acute man.
*Guillaume - a peasant of Rognes. He owned a piece of land beside
the hovel of Hyacinthe Fouan.
*Guillaume - a young swineherd at La Borderie. He afterwards
became a soldier.
*Hardy - tax collector at Cloyes.
*Honorine - a servant in the employment of the Badeuils.
*Hourdequin, Alexandre - born 1804, was the only son of Isidore
Hourdequin. He studied at the college of Chateaudun, but made little
progress, as his only interest was in farming, for which he had an
absolute passion. On the death of his father he became master of La
Borderie, which he cultivated on the latest principles of agriculture,
spending large sums upon it. He married a sister of Bailliehache, the
notary, who brought him a considerable sum, which also went into the
land. His wife died in a few years, leaving him with two children, a son
named Leon, who to his great disappointment became a soldier, and a
daughter who died young. In spite of these misfortunes he retained all
his passion for the land, and in it he gradually sunk all his fortune,
getting little from it in return. A liaison with Jacqueline Cognet,
*Hourdequin, Madame - wife of the preceding. See Mademoiselle
*Hourdequin, Isidore - born 1767, was the descendant of an old
peasant family of Cloyes, which had educated and elevated itself into a
middle-class position in the sixteenth century. They had all been
employed in the administration of the salt monopoly, and Isidore, who
had early been left an orphan, was worth sixty thousand francs, when, at
twenty-six, the Revolution cost him his post. As a speculation he bought
the farm of La Borderie for a fifth of its value, but the depreciation
of real estate continued, and he was unable to resell it at the profit
of which he had dreamed. He therefore determined to farm it himself, and
about this time he married the daughter of a neighbour, who brought him
an additional hundred and twenty acres of land. He had one son,
Alexandre, and died in 1831.
*Hourdequin, Leon - son of Alexandre Hourdequin. He had an
intense hatred of the soil and became a soldier, being promoted Captain
after Solferino. He did not visit his home more than once a year, and
was much annoyed to discover the liaison between his father and
*Hourdequin, Mademoiselle - the second child of Alexandre
Hourdequin. She was a delicate and charming girl, tenderly loved by her
*Jesus Christ - see Hyacinthe Fouan.
*Lambourdieu - a shopkeeper at Cloyes, who sold Parisian
novelties to all the villages within a radius of five or six miles.
*Lengaigne - a dealer in tobacco and tavern-keeper at Rognes. He
cultivated a small piece of land, while his wife weighed tobacco and
looked after the cellar. He also shaved and cut the hair of the village,
a trade learned by him when he was in the army. He professed strong
Republican principles, though he was afraid to express his opinions too
strongly, in case of losing his license. An old rivalry subsisted
between him and Macqueron, a neighbouring tavern-keeper, with whom he
was always on the point of blows.
*Lengaigne, Madame Flore - wife of the preceding. She was always
quarreling with Coelina Macqueron.
*Lengaigne, Suzanne - daughter of the two preceding. She was
apprenticed to a dressmaker at Chateaudun, but after six months ran off
to Paris, where she led a gay life.
*Lengaigne, Victor - brother of Suzanne. Before he was drawn in
the conscription he was an awkward youth, but he returned a swaggering
*Lequeu - the schoolmaster at Rognes. His parents were peasants,
and he had an intense hatred of the class from which he had sprung,
looking upon them as little better than barbarians. In politics he had
advanced views, but in consequence of his position he concealed them to
a great extent.
*Leroi, alias Canon - a journeyman carpenter, who deserted
Paris on account of some trouble, and preferred to live in the country,
tramping from village to village, doing a week here and a week there,
and offering his services from one farm to another when his employer did
not want him. When there was a scarcity of work he begged on the
highroads, living partly on the vegetables he stole. He professed strong
revolutionary principles, which he was fond of airing in village
ale-shops. He was a friend of Hyacinthe Fouan.
*Loiseau - a municipal councilor of Rognes. He was devoted to the
Mayor, Alexandre Hourdequin, on whose farm his son worked. He was an
uncle of Macqueron.
*Lorillon, Les - peasants at Rognes, who were said to have been
cured of illness by the bone-setter Sourdeau.
*Macquart, Jean - born 1811, son of Antoine Macquart, was
apprenticed to a carpenter. A quiet, industrious lad, Jean's father took
advantage of his simple nature and made him give up his whole earnings
to assist in keeping him in idleness. Like his sister Gervaise, he ran
off soon after the death of his mother (see La Fortune des
Rougon). He entered the army, and, after seven years of soldiering
was discharged in 1859. When he had left the ranks he turned up at
Bazoches-le-Doyen with a comrade, a joiner like himself ; and he resumed
his occupation with the latter's father, a master carpenter in the
village. But his heart was no longer in his work, and having been sent
to La Borderie to make some repairs, he stayed on to assist at the
harvest, and eventually became a regular farm servant. He was not
popular, however, with the peasants, who resented his having had a trade
before he came back to the soil. (see further story in La Debacle
and Le Docteur Pascal).
*Macquart, Madame Jean - first wife of the preceding. See
*Macqueron - a grocer and tavern-keeper at Rognes. He was a
municipal councilor, and deputy Mayor. He made some money by speculating
in wines, and had since become incorrigibly lazy, spending his time in
fishing and shooting. Had his wife listened to him, they would have shut
up the shop, but she was so fiercely set on money- making that she would
not do so. There was a rivalry of long standing between the Macquerons
and the Lengaignes, which frequently broke out in open quarrels.
*Macqueron, Madame Coelina - wife of the preceding, had a true
passion for money-making. She was continually quarreling with her
neighbour, Madame Lengaigne.
*Macqueron, Berthe - daughter of the preceding, was educated at a
boarding-school at Cloyes, and had learned to play the piano. She
tolerated the attentions of Lequeu, the schoolmaster, whom she heartily
disliked, as she felt flattered by the notice of the only man of
education whom she knew.
*Madeline, Abbe - was sent to Rognes, when that commune decided
to have a cure to itself. He came from a mountainous district, and
disheartened by the flatness of the vast plain of La Beauce, and
especially by the religious indifference of his parishloners, he soon
fell into ill-health, on one occasion fainting while he was saying
*Massacre - one of the dogs of old Soulas, the shepherd. It
shared the hatred of its master of La Cognette.
*Mathias - an old hunchback who worked on the farm of La
*Mouche, Le Pere - the nickname of Michel Fouan, the third son of
Joseph Casimir Fouan, and brother of La Grande, Pere Fouan, and Laure
Badeuil. When his father's estate was divided, he received the family
dwelling house and some land, but was dissatisfied with his share and
continued to accuse his brother and sister, though forty years had
elapsed, of having robbed him when the lots were drawn. He had been long
a widower, and, a soured unlucky man, he lived alone with his two
daughters, Lise and Francoise.
*Mouche, Francoise - youngest daughter of Michel Fouan, alias
Mouche. Her mother died early, and she was brought up by her sister
Lise, to whom she was devotedly attached. She had a passion for justice,
and when she had said "that is mine and that is yours," she would have
been prepared to go to the stake in support of her rights.
*Mouche, Lise - elder daughter of Pere Mouche, and sister of the
preceding. She had a son to her cousin Buteau, who, however, did not
marry her for three years afterwards, when the death of her father made
her heiress to some land.
*Norine - a vendor of salted provisions, who went round the
neighbourhood of Cloyes.
*Patoir - a veterinary surgeon at Cloyes.
*Pechard, Antoine - a neighbour of the Fouans. He owned eighteen
acres of land when ho married La Grande, who brought him seven acres
more. He died young, leaving one daughter.
*Pechard, Madame - wife of the preceding. See La Grande.
*Pechard, Mademoiselle - daughter of Antoine Pechard and Marianne
Fouan (Le Grande), his wife. As she insisted on marrying a poor youth
named Vincent Bouteroue, her mother cast her out. Misfortunes pursued
the young couple.
*Rochefontaine - proprietor of a large factory at Chateaudun. He
was desirous of serving as a Deputy, but did not secure the support of
the Government, and, standing as an independent candidate, was
*Rognes-Bouqueval, Les - an ancient and noble family whose
estate, already much reduced by enforced sales, was declared national
property in 1793, and was purchased piece by piece by Isidore
*Rosalie - an old chair-mender at Rognes. The poor woman lived
all alone, sick and without a copper. Abbe Godard came to her
*Rougette - a cow bought by the sisters Mouche at the market of
*Sabot - a vine-grower of Brinqueville. He was a renowned
*Sapin, La - a disreputable old woman at Magnolles who performed
illegal operations and pretended to work magic.
*Saucesse, Le Pere - an old peasant of Rognes, who owned an acre
of land which he sold to Pere Fouan for an annuity of fifteen sous a
*Soulas - an old shepherd at La Borderie, where he had been for
half a century. At sixty-five he had saved nothing, having been eaten up
by a drunken wife, "whom at last he had the pleasure of burying." He had
few friends except his two dogs, Emperor and Massacre.
*Sourdeau - a bone-setter at Bazoches-le-Doyen, who was supposed
to be equally good for wounds.
*Tron - a labourer in the farm of La Borderie.
*Trouille, La - the nickname of Olympe Fouan.
*Vaucogne, Hector - husband of Estelle Badeuil. At the time of
his marriage, Vaucogne was a junior officer of customs, but when his
wife's parents retired he took over their maison publique.
*Vaucogne, Madame Hector - wife of the preceding. See Estelle
*Vaucogne, Slodie - daughter of the preceding, and granddaughter
of M. and Madame Charles Badeuil. She was seven years old when her
parents took over the maison publique of her grandfather, and she
was then sent to a convent at Chateaudun to be educated by the Sisters
of the Visitation. Her holidays were spent with her grandparents, and
she was supposed to be under the impression that her parents were
carrying on a large confectionery business.
*Victorine - a servant in the employment of the Badeuils after
they retired to Rognes.
*Vimeux - a miserable little sheriff officer, who was celebrated
in the Canton for the bad usage he got from the peasants when he was
obliged to serve summonses upon them.
*Zephyrin - a worker on the farm of La Borderie. He laughed at
the agricultural machinery introduced by Alexandre Hourdequin.