Les Misérables

Category: Fiction

Keywords: Classical literature, French literature, French revolution, inspirational stories

Published: 05/14/2013

Views: 5

Words: 568,610

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Les Misérables

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Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title, which can be translated from the French as The Miserable, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims. Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, focusing on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.

Examining the nature of law and grace, the novel elaborates upon the history of France, the architecture and urban design of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. Les Misérables has been popularized through numerous adaptations for the stage, television, and film, including a musical and a film adaptation of that musical.

The appearance of the novel was highly anticipated and advertised. Critical reactions were very diverse, but most of them were negative. Commercially, the work was a great success, not just in France, but also in the rest of Europe and the world.

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About the Author

Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame).

Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed; he became a passionate supporter of republicanism,[citation needed] and his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and artistic trends of his time.

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Discussion - 1 comment

  • Niccolo Machiavelli 08/15/2013 15:08:28
    Great read. Exciting and resonating plot.
    Reply