Before the huge crowd that packed the cathedral square, La Esmeralda stood between two executioners. Suddenly Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame, rushed at the executioners and felled them with his enormous fists. He snatched the gypsy girl in one arm and ran with her into the church. A moment later he appeared at the top of the bell tower. Holding the girl above his head, he showed her triumphantly to all of Paris while his thunderous voice roared savagely to the sky: “Sanctuary! Sanctuary! Sanctuary!”
Set amid the riot, intrigue, and pageantry of medieval Paris, Victor Hugo’s masterful tale of heroism and adventure has been a perennial favorite since its first publication in 1831 and remains one of the most thrilling stories of all time.
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.