Zola used personal correspondence as a tool to control his public as well as his Private image, not only for the benefit of his contemporaries, but also for a hoped-for posterity. Zola’s letters served several purposes: as the leader of Naturalism and, as such, often accused of obscenity and immorality, Zola made sure to correct the caricatures that delighted critics and the press, but he also directed his letters to both women of his life, Alexandrine Zola and Jeanne Rozerot, constructing a portrait of himself as the perfect “bourgeois.” Indeed, though it couldn’t last, the double family life that Dreyfus’s defender led for nearly twelve years was the main impetus behind his tireless epistolary efforts to create an image of conventional respectability. (In French)