Valjean returns after serving nineteen years' hard labour, and after a bad start robbing the man who is trying to help him, he becomes an honest, hard-working and respected man, always shadowed by the mistrusting Javert, who is himself ultimately denounced as a spy.
In the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre-Dame lives Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer. Mocked and shunned for his appearance, he is pitied only by Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted. Esmerelda, however, has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, and when she rejects his lecherous approaches, Frollo hatches a plot to destroy her that only Quasimodo can prevent. Victor Hugo's sensational, evocative novel brings life to the medieval Paris he loved, and mourns its passing in one of the greatest historical romances of the nineteenth century.
Ursus and Homo were fast friends. Ursus was a man, Homo a wolf. Their dispositions tallied. It was the man who had christened the wolf: probably he had also chosen his own name. Having found Ursus fit for himself, he had found Homo fit for the beast. Man and wolf turned their partnership to account at fairs, at village fêtes, at the corners of streets where passers-by throng, and out of the need which people seem to feel everywhere to listen to idle gossip and to buy quack medicine. The wolf, gentle and courteously subordinate, diverted the crowd. It is a pleasant thing to behold the tameness of animals. Our greatest delight is to see all the varieties of domestication parade before us. This it is which collects so many folks on the road of royal processions.
Gilliatt, a Guernseyman and social pariah, falls in love with Deruchette, the niece of a local shipowner called Mess Lethierry. After Lethierry's ship is destroyed on a dangerous reef, Deruchette commits to marry whoever can return with the ship's engine. Gilliatt nominates himself, and the story follows his physical travails and the approbation of his neighbours during his quest to retrieve the engine. Victor Marie Hugo (1802 – 1885) was a French novelist, dramatist, and poet belonging to the Romantic movement. He is widely hailed as one of the most accomplished and well-known French writers, originally achieving renown for his poetical endeavours—the most notable of which are the volumes “Les Contemplations” and “La Légende des siècles”. Outside of his native country, Hugo's best-known works are his novels: “Les Misérables” (1862) and “Notre-Dame de Paris” (1831), commonly known as “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”. Many vintage books such as this are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this book now in an affordable, high-quality, modern edition complete with a specially commissioned new biography of the author.
Now a major motion picure, adapted from the acclaimed Broadway musical, starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Sacha Baron Cohen
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, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; 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 compelling and compassionate view of the victims of early nineteenth-century French society, Les Misérables is a novel on an epic scale, moving inexorably from the eve of the battle of Waterloo to the July Revolution of 1830.
This striking edition features the widely celebrated and eminently readable translation by Norman Denny.
Extrait : "Le jeudi 20 décembre 1848, l'Assemblée constituante, entourée en ce moment-là d'un imposant déploiement de troupes, étant en séance, à la suite d'un rapport du représentant Waldeck Rousseau, fait au nom de la commission chargée de dépouiller le scrutin pour l'élection à la présidence de la République, rapport où l'on avait remarqué cette phrase qui en résumait toute la pensée : « C'est le sceau de son inviolable puissance que la nation, par cette admirable..."
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A few years ago, while visiting or, rather, rummaging about Notre-Dame, the author of this book found, in an obscure nook of one of the towers, the following word, engraved by hand upon the wall:— ANArKH.
These Greek capitals, black with age, and quite deeply graven in the stone, with I know not what signs peculiar to Gothic caligraphy imprinted upon their forms and upon their attitudes, as though with the purpose of revealing that it had been a hand of the Middle Ages which had inscribed them there, and especially the fatal and melancholy meaning contained in them, struck the author deeply. He questioned himself; he sought to divine who could have been that soul in torment which had not been willing to quit this world without leaving this stigma of crime or unhappiness upon the brow of the ancient church. Afterwards, the wall was whitewashed or scraped down, I know not which, and the inscription disappeared. For it is thus that people have been in the habit of proceeding with the marvellous churches of the Middle Ages for the last two hundred years. Mutilations come to them from every quarter, from within as well as from without. The priest whitewashes them, the archdeacon scrapes them down; then the populace arrives and demolishes them. Thus, with the exception of the fragile memory which the author of this book here consecrates to it, there remains today nothing whatever of the mysterious word engraved within the gloomy tower of Notre Dame,—nothing of the destiny which it so sadly summed up. The man who wrote that word upon the wall disappeared from the midst of the generations of man many centuries ago; the word, in its turn, has been effaced from the wall of the church; the church will, perhaps, itself soon disappear from the face of the earth. It is upon this word that this book is founded.
Ninety-Three is a historical novel built upon "a sort of enigma," which was at that date (1793) laid before revolutionary France: "Can a good action be a bad action? Does not he who spares the wolf kill the sheep?" This question meets with one answer after another during the course of the book. --- The interest of the novel centres about revolutionary France; just as the plot is an abstract judicial difficulty, the hero is an abstract historical force. And this has been done, not as it would have been before, by the cold and cumbersome machinery of allegory, but with bold, straightforward realism, dealing only with the objective materials of art, and dealing with them so masterfully that the palest abstractions of thought come before us, and move our hopes and fears, as if they were the young men and maidens of customary romance. --- Ninety-Three is full of pregnant and splendid sayings. It is equal to anything that Victor Hugo has ever written. (Robert Louis Stevenson)
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.
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