Leopoldo Alas was the leading literary critic of Restoration Spain, and author of La Regenta (1884-5) which rivals Gald6s's Fortunata and Jacinta as Spain's major contribution to nineteenth-century European fiction. La desheredada was the first work by Gald6s to show the influence of Zola, and this review of Part 1 of the novel is one of the earliest discussions of naturalism in Spain. Alas would become a protagonist of the debate on naturalism in the Spanish press from 1882-3, where he gave his qualified support. Here he adopts a polemical tone, setting Gald6s up as a spokesman for progressive ideas. Alas's understanding of naturalism seems somewhat vague (he admits he finds the term ill-defined), but he notes the importance of Gald6s's unsentimental depiction of the working classes. The terms used by Alas to refer to the working classes ('pollution', 'plague', 'throwback to some African race', 'rubbish tip') show how shocking such material was for middle class readers; as with other writers of the time (including Gald6s), what Alas finds most threatening in the working classes is their refusal to fit the tidy categories represented by bourgeois domesticity ('piled on top of each other'). Unlike most contemporary Spanish critics, Alas goes beyond moral issues to describe Gald6s's novelistic techniques: his comments on the novel's use of dialogue and free indirect style (introduced into Spain by Gald6s, and later developed by Alas himself in La Regenta) are acute.