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About Victor Hugo
Victor Marie Hugo (/ˈhjuːɡoʊ/; French: [viktɔʁ maʁi yɡo]; 26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) 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 and then from 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). He also produced more than 4,000 drawings, which have since been admired for their beauty, and earned widespread respect as a campaigner for social causes such as the abolition of capital punishment.
Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed, and he became a passionate supporter of republicanism; his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and the artistic trends of his time. He is buried in the Panthéon. His legacy has been honoured in many ways, including his portrait being placed on French franc banknotes.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Étienne Carjat [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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A brilliant modern translation by Christine Donougher of Victor Hugo's thrilling masterpiece, with an introduction by Robert Tombs.
This is the best translation of the novel available in English, as recommended by David Bellos in The Novel of the Century.
Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, and by the relentless investigations of the dogged policeman Javert. It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty.
'A magnificent achievement. It reads easily, sometimes racily, and Hugo's narrative power is never let down ... An almost flawless translation, which brings the full flavour of one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century to new readers in the twenty-first' - William Doyle, Times Literary Supplement
'The year's most interesting publication from Penguin Classics was [...] a new translation by Christine Donougher of the novel we all know as Les Misérables. You may think that 1,300 pages is a huge investment of time when the story is so familiar, but no adaptation can convey the addictive pleasure afforded by Victor Hugo's narrative voice: by turns chatty, crotchety, buoyant and savagely ironical, it's made to seem so contemporary and fresh in Donougher's rendering that the book has all the resonance of the most topical state-of-the-nation novel' - Telegraph
'Christine Donougher's seamless and very modern translation of Les Misérables has an astonishing effect in that it reminds readers that Hugo was going further than any Dickensian lament about social conditions [...]The Wretched touches the soul' - Herald Scotland
Les Misérables is at once a tense thriller that contains one of the most compelling chase scenes in all literature, an epic portrayal of the nineteenth-century French citizenry, and a vital drama — highly particularized and poetic in its rendition but universal in its implications — of the redemption of one human being.
One of the half-dozen greatest novels of the world. —Upton Sinclair
The greatest of all novels. —Leo Tolstoy
Hugo is unquestionably the most powerful talent that has appeared in France in the nineteenth century. —Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I sobbed and wailed and thought [books] were the greatest things. —Susan Sontag
- Hans of Iceland
- The Last Day of a Condemned Man
- The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
- Claude Gueux
- Les Misérables
- Toilers of the Sea
- The Man Who Laughs
The only completely unabridged paperback edition of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece—a sweeping tale of love, loss, valor, and passion.
Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.
Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope—an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.
Translated by Lee Fahnestock and Norman Macafee, based on the classic nineteenth-century Charles E. Wilbour translation
Inlcudes an Introduction by Lee Fahnestock
and an Afterword by Chris Bohjalian
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris) is an 1831 French novel written by Victor Hugo. It is set in 1482 in Paris, in and around the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. The book tells the story of a poor barefoot Gypsy girl (La Esmeralda) and a misshapen bell-ringer (Quasimodo) who was raised by the Archdeacon (Claude Frollo). The book was written as a statement to preserve the Notre Dame cathedral and not to 'modernize' it, as Hugo was thoroughly against this.
The story begins during the Renaissance in 1482, the day of the Festival of Fools in Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer, is introduced by his crowning as Pope of Fools.
Esméralda, a beautiful 16-year-old gypsy with a kind and generous heart, captures the hearts of many men but especially Quasimodo’s adopted father, Claude Frollo. Frollo is torn between his lust and the rules of the church. He orders Quasimodo to get her. Quasimodo is caught and whipped and ordered to be tied down in the heat. Esméralda seeing his thirst, offers him water. It saves her, for she captures the heart of the hunchback.(less)
First published in 1869, The Man Who Laughs is an impassioned plea for recognition of the humanity of society’s outcasts and an indictment of the callous crimes of the aristocracy. It tells the story of Gwynplaine, a boy whose face was disfigured by order of the king into a ghastly, permanent smile. Outcast and homeless, Gwynplaine finds refuge with travelling carnival merchant Ursus and falls in love with a blind orphan girl named Dea.
One day while performing a popular carnival routine, Gwynplaine captures the attention of bored and jaded Duchess Josiana. Used as a pawn by an agent of the royal court, Gwynplaine’s true identity and noble parentage is soon revealed. But when he is reinstated as a member of the aristocracy, Gwynplaine makes visible the monstrosity of the upper classes
pageant of picturesque characters, ranging from the cruel, superstitious king, Louis XI, to the underworld of beggars and petty criminals. These disreputable truands' night-time assault on the cathedral is one of the most spectacular set-pieces of Romantic literature.
Hugo vividly depicts medieval Paris, where all life is dominated by the massive cathedral. His passionate enthusiasm for Gothic architecture is set within the context of an epic view of mankind's history, to which he attaches even more importance than to the novel's compelling story. Alban Krailsheimer's new translation is a fresh approach to this monumental classic by France's most celebrated Romantic.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
One of the greatest epic novels in history, Les Misérables is the moving story of Jean Valjean’s struggle for redemption and his lifelong pursuit by Javert, a police detective determined to return Valjean to chains. Always one step ahead of Javert, Valjean encounters the tragic Fantine, and ultimately rescues Fantine’s daughter, Cosette, from her wretched life with the Thénadiers, treating the child as his own as she comes of age in pre-revolutionary Paris.
This special edition of Les Misérables also contains a review from the July 1862 issue of The Atlantic Monthly.
HarperPerennial Classics brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperPerennial Classics collection to build your digital library.
CONTENU DÉTAILLÉ :
Les 13 titres des ROMANS: Han d’Islande • Bug Jargal • Le dernier Jour d’un Condamné • Notre Dame de Paris • Claude Gueux • Les Misérables (Les 5 tomes) • Les Travailleurs de la mer • L’Homme qui rit • Quatre-vingt-Treize.
Les 18 titres des PREMIÈRES PUBLICATIONS: Bonheur que procure l’étude • La Canadienne • Le Télégraphe • L’Enrôleur politique • L’Avarice et l’Envie • Épitre à Brutus (Les Vous et les Tu ) • Achéménide • L’Antre des Cyclopes • César passe le Rubicon • Imitation d’Owen • A Lydie • Ce que j’aime • Le Vieillard du Galèse • Discours sur les avantages de l’enseignement mutuel • Le 4 novembre 1820 • Poésies diverses : Raymond d’Ascoli, Idylle, Les Derniers Bardes
Les 26 titres des ŒUVRES POÉTIQUES : A Mme la générale Lucotte • Odes et Ballades • Les Orientales • Les Feuilles d’automne • Les Chants du Crépuscule • Les Voix intérieures • Le Retour de l’Empereur • Les Rayons et les Ombres • Les Châtiments • Les Contemplations • La Légende des Siècles • Les Chansons des Rues et des Bois • La Voix de Guernesey • L’Année terrible • L’Art d’être Grand ‘Père • Les Enfants (le Livre des Mères) • Le Pape • La Pitié Suprême • L’Âne • Religions et Religion • Les Quatre Vents de l’Esprit • La Fin de Satan • Dieu • Toute la Lyre • Les années funestes • Dernière Gerbe
Les 24 titres des ŒUVRES THÉÂTRALES : Inez de Castro • Cromwell et sa préface • Amy Robsart • Marion Delorme et sa préface • Hernani • Le Roi s’amuse • Lucrèce Borgia • Marie Tudor • Angelo tyran de Padoue • Ruy Blas • Les Jumeaux • Les Burgraves • Mille francs de récompense • La Esmeralda • Torquemada • Les deux trouvailles de Gallus • Théâtre en Liberté: La Forêt mouillée • La Grand-Mère • Mangeront-ils ? L’Épée • Prologue • Les Gueux • Sur la Lisière d’un bois • Être aimé
Les 6 titres des OEUVRES POLITIQUES : Paris • Mes Fils • Actes et paroles 1 • Actes et Paroles 2 • Actes et paroles 3 • Actes et paroles 4
Les 5 titres des ESSAIS PHILOSOPHIQUES : Littérature Et Philosophie Mêlées • William Shakespeare • Préface de la nouvelle traduction de Shakespeare • Préface de mes œuvres et post-scriptum de ma vie • Fragments philosophiques 1860-1865
Les 6 titres des OEUVRES HISTORIQUES : Funérailles de L’empereur • Napoléon Le Petit • La servilité de la magistrature impériale • Histoire d’un Crime • Cahier complémenta
Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, Les Misérables is not only superb adventure but a powerful social document. The story of how the convict Jean-Valjean struggled to escape his past and reaffirm his humanity, in a world brutalized by poverty and ignorance, became the gospel of the poor and the oppressed.
A new translation by Scot James Hogarth for the first unabridged English edition of the novel, which tells the story of an illiterate fisherman from the Channel Islands who must free a ship that has run aground in order to win the hand of the woman he loves, a shipowner's daughter.