Les Miserables: The Classic Story of the Triumph of Grace and Redemption (Paperback)
Here's the epic story that spawned Hollywood films and Broadway musicals--in a condensed and updated version perfect for the twenty-first century reader seeking its redemptive message. Born of the unrest that pervaded France after the failure of its eighteenth-century revolution, Les Miserables follows the journey of Jean Valjean from depravity and corruption to grace and redemption. The eclectic cast of characters accompanying Valjean causes us to empathize with the condition of the human spirit--from Fantine, the desperate single mother, to the cold justice of Javert, to the passion of Cosette, to the revolutionary spirit in Marius. This retelling of Hugo's epic 1862 novel retains the richness that is Les Mis, in approximately one-fifth of the original wording.
About the Author
The son of a high officer in Napoleon's army, Victor Hugo (1802-85) spent his childhood against a background of military life in Elba, Corsica, Naples, and Madrid. After the Napoleonic defeat, the Hugo family settled in straitened circumstances in Paris, where, at the age of fifteen, Victor Hugo commenced his literary career with a poem submitted to a contest sponsored by the Academie Francaise. Twenty-four years later, Hugo was elected to the Academie, having helped revolutionize French literature with his poems, plays, and novels. Entering politics, he won a seat in the National Assembly in 1848; but in 1851, he was forced to flee the country because of his opposition to Louis-Napoleon. In exile on the Isle of Guernsey, he became a symbol of French resistance to tyranny; upon his return to Paris after the Revolution of 1870, he was greeted as a national hero. He continued to serve in public life and to write with unabated vigor until his death. He was buried in the Pantheon with every honor the French nation could bestow.