I got some lovely Crhistmas presents, one of which ... well, I can't believe it's mine. It's a carte de visite belonging to Émile Zola with his handwriting on: he has written on the top, "Avec mes plus vifs remerciements", and also his signature on a seperate piece of paper. It's absolutely incredible - I still can't believe that what is mine was once in his possession. My camera isn't quite fixed yet, but the moment it is I shall post a picture! A wonderful present, and I've been making up various scenarios about what Zola might have been doing on the day he wrote on his carte de visite and signed his autograph. I know it's from 1875, which was about the time La Faute de l'Abbé Mouret was published, though perhaps he was already working on His Excellence Eugène Rougon (Son Excellence Eugène Rougon), which was to be published a year later. A lovely, lovely present.
And I also got a few other books - Zola and the Bourgeoisie by Brian Nelson, and an old copy of The Dram Shop (L'Assommoir) by Zola from 1903, which I'm happy to have because I did want to read a few different translations of L'Assommoir, plus I'm enjoying the romance of the book being 110 years old! I also now have a bibliography of Zola prepared by Brian Nelson, which looks to be very helpful (if not a little complicated), and, something I've needed for a long time, Roget's Thesaurus.
So now, I'm planning on an early night: a drop of Baileys and a few chapters of Les Mis. Over the weekend I shall post about the last two books of Middlemarch and then a general review, and then... And then it will be the wind down, the last few days of 2013. Such a very fast year...
Anyway, that was my Christmas, how was everyone else's? What books did you get? :)