Les Miserables

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Les Miserables

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Written By: Victor Hugo       
Narrated By: Frederick Davidson
Date: 24 April 2008
Duration: 12:07:00

| Genres

Literature Classics

| Summary

Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Mis'rables follows the adventures of Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, Valjean is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.

Hugo describes early nineteenth-century France with a sweeping power that gives his novel epic stature. Among the most famous chapters are an account of the battle of Waterloo and a description of Valjean's flight through the Paris sewers.

| Author

Victor Hugo

Victor Marie Hugo (French: [viktɔʁ maʁi yɡo] ( listen); 26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Hugo is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside of France, his most famous works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris), 1831. In France, Hugo is known primarily for his poetry collections, such as Les Contemplations (The Contemplations) and La Légende des siècles (The Legend of the Ages).

Hugo was at the forefront of the romantic literary movement with his play Cromwell and drama Hernani. Many of his works have inspired music, both during his lifetime and after his death, including the musicals Notre-Dame de Paris and Les Misérables. He produced more than 4,000 drawings in his lifetime, and campaigned 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 in Paris. His legacy has been honoured in many ways, including his portrait being placed on French currency.

| Books by Victor Hugo