Originally written as a means of highlighting the value of Gothic architecture, The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Notre Dame de Paris was also one of the first novels to feature lower caste protagonists. The Hunchback of Notre Dame has been translated into English many times and has been adapted into plays, and feature-length films, including the 1996 Disney animated feature of the same name.
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‘Love is like a tree, it grows of its own accord, it puts down deep roots into our whole being.’
Set in medieval Paris, against the backdrop of the brooding Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Hugo’s take on the classic story of Beauty and the Beast tells of the hunchbacked, grotesque bellringer, Quasimodo. Rejected by Parisian society because of his appearance, Quasimodo resides in Notre-Dame, harbouring a love for the only woman that pities him, a gypsy named Esmerelda. However, a sinister archdeacon also covets Esmerelda, and when his advances are spurned, he seeks to destroy her.