Description

Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean - the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread - Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.

Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope - an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.

Translated by Lee Fahnestock and Norman Macafee, based on the classic nineteenth-century Charles E. Wilbour translation

Note: Many classic books are available for free on an e-reader such as the Amazon Kindle. Although this can be a great way to read the classics, we still encourage families to purchase a physical copy. The smell of paper, flipping through the sheets, scribbling notes in the margin, underlining, and highlighting allow you and your student to develop a much closer connection to the content, enriching your experience. As an added bonus, discussing the book in seminar is much easier when all the students have the same physical copy with identical pagination. 

 Recommended in Program(s): Challenge I
Cycle(s): n/a

 

Details

 Publisher:

Signet Book

Publication date:

1 October 2013

Number of pages:

1,476

Weight:

585 g

Dimensions:

6.35 cms H x 17.53 cms L x 10.67 cms W

Format:

Paperback

ISBN:

045141943X

Author

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was the son of a high-ranking officer in Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand Army. A man of literature and politics, he participated in vast changes as France careened back and forth between empire and more democratic forms of government. As a young man in Paris, he became well-known and sometimes notorious for his poetry, fiction, and plays. In 1845, the year that he began writing his masterwork, Les Misérables, the king made him a peer of France, with a seat in the upper legislative body. There he advocated universal free education, general suffrage, and the abolition of capital punishment. When an uprising in 1848 ushered in a republic, he stopped writing Les Misérables and concentrated on politics. But in 1851, when the president proclaimed himself emperor, Hugo's opposition forced him into a long exile on the British Channel Islands. There, in 1860, he resumed work on Les Misérables, finishing it the next year. With the downfall of the emperor in 1870, Hugo returned to France, where he received a hero's welcome as a champion of democracy. At his death in 1885, two million people lined the streets of Paris as his coffin was borne to the Pantheon. There he was laid to rest with every honor the French nation could bestow.

Recently viewed items