The Affair Dreyfus - Read All About It


Vintage cabinet-card format sepia-tone photograph showing a quirky-looking French newspaper hawker circa 1898 with newspapers, newspaper satchel, uniform hat, and horn. In addition to the "Le Reveil" emblazoned on his satchel and cap, he holds two newspapers open to left, "La France" and "Le Nouvelliste." Steadied against a table to make its cover readable, the front paper appears to be dated "Vendredi 11 Fevrier 1898" and bears the headline "Le Proces Zola - Le Debacle des Dreyfusistes", relating to the Dreyfus affair and Emile Zola's trial for slander after defending Dreyfus in his "J'accuse" of January 13, 1898.   Price: $450.   ( Inventory# id548 )


The Dreyfus Affair began in 1895 with the conviction in secret trial of a Jewish French army captain, Alfred Dreyfus, on charges of espionage. Soon evidence began coming to light vindicating Dreyfus and implicating other parties. Despite this, the military authorities refused to reconsider Dreyfus' sentence and went so far as to forge additional evidence against him in support of the earlier verdict. Anti-semitism is also thought to have been a factor in this conflict.

As the affair grew in stature, on January 13, 1898 the novelist Emile Zola published his famous "J'accuse" in defense of Dreyfus and in accusation of the military authorities. This quickly resulted in Zola's being brought to a trial for slander on February 7, the trial ending on February 23rd with Zola's conviction, forcing him to flee France for England. However, the unraveling affair and changes in the government allowed Zola's return to France in 1899. Dreyfus himself was soon pardoned, and fully exonerated in 1906.

The newspapers shown were thus printed while Zola stood trial for publication of "J'accuse". Le Nouvelliste's headline "Le Proces Zola - Le Debacle des Dreyfusistes" can be loosely translated as "The Zola Trial - Debacle of the Dreyfus Partisans" and seems to indicate that Le Nouvelliste stood in support of Dreyfus' accusers.

CONDITION: A few scratches and digs in upper right corner; while firmly attached at edges the image "bows out" slightly in center.


Last updated September 8, 2017

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