Les Miserables is a novel by French author Victor Hugo, and among the best-known novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a twenty year period in the early 19th century that starts in the year of Napoleon's final defeat. Principally focusing on the struggles of the protagonist-ex-convict Jean Valjean-who seeks to redeem himself, the novel also examines the impact of Valjean's actions for the sake of social commentary. It examines the nature of good, evil, and the law, in a sweeping story that expounds upon the history of France, architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, law, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. Les Miserables is known to many through its numerous stage and screen adaptations, of which the most famous is the stage musical of the same name, sometimes abbreviated "Les Mis" or "Les Miz" .
- Paperback | 614 pages
- 215.9 x 279.4 x 35.31mm | 1,719.11g
- 12 Jan 2015
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- Illustrations, black and white
About Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo is a celebrated French Romantic author best known for his poetry and his novels, including Les Miserables. Victor Hugo was born on February 26, 1802, in Besancon, France. After training as a lawyer, Hugo embarked on the literary career. He became one of the most important French Romantic poets, novelists and dramatists of his time, having assembled a massive body of work while living in Paris, Brussels and the Channel Islands. Hugo died on May 22, 1885, in Paris. Victor Hugo studied law between 1815 and 1818, though he never committed himself to legal practice. Encouraged by his mother, Hugo embarked on a career in literature. He founded the Conservateur Litteraire, a journal in which he published his own poetry and the work of his friends. His mother died in 1821. The same year, Hugo married Adele Foucher and published his first book of poetry, Odes et poesies diverses. His first novel was published in 1823, followed by a number of plays. In 1831, he published one of his most enduring works, Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Set in the medieval period, the novel presents a harsh criticism of the society that degrades and shuns the hunchback Quasimodo. This was Hugo's most celebrated work to date, and paved the way for his subsequent political writing. A prolific writer, Hugo was established as one of the most celebrated literary figures in France by the 1840s. In 1841, he was elected to the French Academy and nominated for the Chamber of Peers. He stepped back from publishing his work following the accidental drowning of his daughter and her husband in 1843. In private, he began work on a piece of writing that would become Les Miserables. Hugo fled to Brussels following a coup in 1851. He lived in Brussels and in Britain until his return to France in 1870. Much of the work that Hugo published during this period conveys biting sarcasm and fierce social criticism. Among these works is the novel Les Miserables, was finally published in 1862. The book was an immediate success in Europe and the United States. Later reinterpreted as a theatrical musical and a film, Les Miserables remains one of the best-known works of 19th century literature.