Émile François Zola
Émile François Zola (1840 -1902) French novelist who was in exile in England from July 1898 to June 1899 at the time of the 'Dreyfus Affair'. Zola had risked his life and career on 13th January 1898 by publishing an essay entitled 'J'accuse' on the front page of the Paris newspaper, L'Aurore. The article accused the French Army of anti-Semitism by having wrongfully convicted a Jewish captain, Alfred Dreyfuss, to life imprisonment on the notorious Devil's Island in French Guyana. Zola was tried for criminal libel on 7th February 1898, and convicted on 23rd February. Zola fled to England on 19th July, staying mostly in London. He returned to France in June 1899 when the French government where forced from power by popular protest over the affair.