Author(s): Victor Hugo
Few novels ever swept across the world with such overpowering impact as Les Mis rables. Within 24 hours, the first Paris edition was sold out. In other great cities of the world it was devoured with equal relish.
Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, Les Mis rables is not only superb adventure but a powerful social document. The story of how the convict Jean-Valjean struggled to escape his past and reaffirm his humanity, in a world brutalized by poverty and ignorance, became the gospel of the poor and the oppressed.
'Still grips the reader with its epic-narrative sweep and all-embracing humanitarianism' Douglas Kennedy, Sunday Times
I sobbed and wailed and thought (books) were the greatest things Les Miserables by Victor Hugo changed my life. The first time I read the book was when I was less than eight years old. I could only understand the part about little Cosette, but that chapter really got me Financial Times Every single character is so well delineated, we all know these people and all human life is here Les Miserables One of the finest French Romantic writers Guardian This new translation...marvelously removes the yellowed varnish from Hugo's prose and gives us the racy, breathless, and passionate intelligence of the original Adam Gopnik There are plenty of translations of this extensive, exuberant novel that cut out anything superfluous. But God is in the detail, and Julie Rose has returned all the detail, making a language that is rich and gorgeous. This is the one to read... and if you are flying, just carry it under your arm as you board, or better still, rebook your holiday and go by train, slowly, page by page... The Times
Victor-Marie Hugo was born on 26 February 1802 at Besancon, where his father, an officer under Napoleon, was stationed. After his parents separated in 1812, Hugo lived in Paris with his mother and brothers. At twenty he married Adele Foucher and published his first poetry collection. Hugo was elected to the Academie Francaise in 1841. The accidental death two years later of his eldest daughter and her husband devastated him and marked the end of his first literary period. By then politics had become central to his life. Though he was a Royalist in his youth, his views became increasingly liberal after the July revolution of 1830. He initially supported Louis Napoleon, but turned against him after being denied a role in government following the coup d'etat of 1851 and was forced into exile in Brussels and Jersey. After the fall of the Second Empire in 1870, Hugo returned to France and was re-elected to the National Assembly, and then to the Senate. Hugo is celebrated as a politician, a social campaigner, a poet and a novelist. His most famous works include Notre Dame de Paris (1831) and Les Miserables (1862). Victor Hugo died on 22 May 1885 and his state funeral was attended by thousands of mourners. Julie Rose lives in Sydney and is the highly regarded translator of more than a dozen works, including an acclaimed version of Racine's Phedre as well as works by Paul Virilio, Jacques Ranciere, Chantal Thomas, and many others.