Set in medieval Paris, Victor Hugo's powerful historical romance "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" has resonated with succeeding generations ever since its publication in 1837. It tells the story of the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda, condemned as a witch by the tormented archdeacon Claude Frollo, who lusts after her. Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer of Notre-Dame Cathedral, having fallen in love with the kindhearted Esmeralda, tries to save her by hiding her in the cathedral's tower. When a crowd of Parisian peasants, misunderstanding Quasimodo's motives, attacks the church in an attempt to liberate her, the story ends in tragedy.
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.
Catherine Liu is the co-founder of New Hope of China, with mission to give hope to the young and old in the impoverished regions of China and beyond via schools, training, and community projects. Mother of four grown children and nine grandchildren, Catherine continues her beloved husband's life time goal, to bridge America and China with God's word and love.
Elizabeth McCracken is the recipient of the Harold Vursell Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the PEN/Winship Award. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, and Michener foundation, the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was also honored as one of "Granta's" 20 Best Writers Under 40.
“What a beautiful thing Notre-Dame is!” —Gustave Flaubert