He wrote novels and plays but his reputation rests on his many short stories and he is considered the greatest French short story writer.
During the 1880's Maupassant created some 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse. His masterpiece is 'Boule De Suif' (Ball of Fat).
Born in Paris, known as a Romantic novelist and famous for her numerous love affairs (with de Musset and Chopin among others).
Her first novel 'Indiana' - a passionate protest against the social conventions that bind a wife to her husband against her will - brought her immediate fame. It was followed by over 100 books, the most successful being those describing rustic life.
Back in Paris he entered politics and became briefly minister of foreign affairs. After Louis Napoleon's coup, he retired to his estate, where he wrote a history of the Old Regime and the Revolution.
In 1898 Zola published 'J'accuse' indicting the persecutors of Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a French Jewish army officer, who was falsely charged with giving military secrets to the Germans. Zola was sentenced to imprisonment. He escaped to England, and returned after Dreyfus had been cleared.