A monumental classic and one of the most widely read novels in history, "Les Miserables" portrays the epic struggle between good and evil in the soul of one man: Jean Valjean. In a world brutalized by poverty and ignorance, the ex-convict struggles to renew his life and reaffirm his humanity. But he is haunted, both by his seemingly inescapable past and the malignant shadow of the infamous police detective Javert.
Rich in detail, packed with adventure, and filled with the sweep of human passions, "Les Miserables" is more than a literary masterpiece -- it remains a powerful social document. Dedicated to the poor, the oppressed, and the misunderstood, this captivating novel captures the impossible societal layers -- and the essence of life -- as it truly existed in nineteenth-century France.
This fine edition features the renowned original translation and a sensitive abridgment.
About the Author
The best-known of the French Romantic writers, Victor Hugo was a poet, novelist, dramatist, and political critic. Hugo was an avid supporter of French republicanism and advocate for social and political equality, themes that reflect most strongly in his works Les Mis?rables, Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), and Le Dernier jour d'un condamn? (The Last Day of a Condemned Man). Hugo's literary works were successful from the outset, earning him a pension from Louis XVIII and membership in the prestigious Acad?mie fran?aise, and influencing the work of literary figures such as Albert Camus, Charles Dickens, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Elevated to the peerage by King Louis-Philippe, Hugo played an active role in French politics through the 1848 Revolution and into the Second and Third Republics. Hugo died in 1885, revered not only for his influence on French literature, but also for his role in shaping French democracy. He is buried in the Panth?on alongside Alexandre Dumas and ?mile Zola.
Robinson is Associate Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati.