In 1862 Zola was naturalized as a French citizen. In 1864 he met Éléonore-Alexandrine Meley, who called herself Gabrielle, a seamstress, who may have also worked as a prostitute. He married her on the 31 May 1870. She stayed with him all his life and was instrumental in promoting his work. The marriage remained childless. Alexandrine Zola did have a child before she met Zola that she gave up, because she was unable to take care of it. When she confessed of this to Zola after their marriage, they went looking for the girl, but she had died a short time after birth. In 1888 she hired Jeanne Rozerot, a seamstress who was to live with them in their home in Medan. Zola fell in love with Jeanne and fathered two children with her, Denise in 1889 and Jacques in 1891. After Jeanne left Medan for Paris, Zola continued to support and visit her and their children. In November 1891 Alexandrine discovered the affair, bringing the marriage to the brink of divorce however after the conflict had been somewhat resolved Zola was able to take an increasingly active role in the lives of the children. After his death, the children were given his name as their lawful surname. In 1888 he took up photography and obtained a near professional level of expertise.
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