Emile Zola's monumental Germinal was published in 1885: the year Freud arrived in Paris to study hysteria, and the year the miner's son, DH Lawrence, was born. Psychologically, socially and politically, Germinal was a trailblazing fiction, set in the 1860s in a mining community in northern France. It was the 13th novel in Zola's 20-volume Rougon-Macquart series, which he subtitled: "A Natural and Social History of a Family under the Second Empire". Each of the novels is discrete, but there are blood-ties between the protagonists, and Zola intended them, laid side by side, to provide a panoramic view of life under Napoleon III. Germinal broke free from the series as a timeless cry of protest against oppression and the misery of the poor who never inherit the Earth. After extensive research and a trip down the working mine at Denain in Valenciennes, Zola wrote Germinal in 10 frenzied months from 2 April 1884 to 23 January 1885. The finished work appeared that spring in a single volume and was sensationally received.