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Cover image of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is a novel which tells the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean, his struggles and eventual redemption. It's hailed by many critics as not just Victor Hugo's finest work but also one of the best French novels of all time. Like most epic novels written in the 19th century, the storyline of Les Misérables spans through several decades beginning in the early 1800s and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris. The events related to the lives of the central characters in the novel are also tied to the great historical events of the time from the French Revolution to the June Rebellion. In the novel, Jean Valjean a man from a poor family was convicted of stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's family. He eventually escaped from prison and was able to begin a new life with the help of Bishop Myriel. A police inspector named Javert was assigned to guard the group of prisoners which includes Jean Valjean. Javert became obsessed in arresting and bringing Jean Valjean back to prison after his escape. Aside from the main storyline, the romance between Marius and Cosette is also very interesting. Cosette was an adopted daughter of Jean Valjean while Marius was a law student who was estranged from his rich family. The two immediately fell in love with each other after they met by chance at the promenade in the Luxembourg Gardens. Victor Hugo also discusses other pressing issues in 19th century France in the book like anti monarchism, injustice in French society, the life of the urban poor in Paris and so on. This book isn't just about the story of its main characters like Jean Valjean, Javert, Cosette, Marius Pontmercy and others, it's about justice, morality and the other important things in life. For those who liked the movie version of Les Misérables which stars Hugh Jackman, Rusell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, I'm sure they'll also like reading this book which is its original version.

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39 – Book 04, ch. 03: The Lark

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