On today’s date in 1889, French author Emile Zola had his novels seized and destroyed by Canadian customs officers in Toronto, Ont. after the books were ruled obscene.
In 1985, Monnaie de Paris featured Zola on a 100 francs silver Proof coin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the release of the author’s book Germinal.
Since before Confederation, Canada has seized controversial books at its borders. In the late 19th century, it was often French novels that were taken, including Zola’s.