Victor Hugo

Les Misérables Victor Hugo

Easton Press Victor Hugo books

The Toilers of The Sea - Library of Famous Editions - 1961
Les Misérables - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions (two volumes) - 1966
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Library of Famous Editions - 1983
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 2003
Les Misérables - 100 Greatest Books Ever Writtten - 2004
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - two volume limited edition in slip case - 2013
Toilers of The Sea - two volume limited edition in slip case - 2019


Victor Hugo biography

Victor Hugo (1802–1885) was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, and political activist who is widely regarded as one of the greatest French writers of the 19th century. He was born on February 26, 1802, in Besançon, France, and died on May 22, 1885, in Paris. Hugo's literary works and political engagement had a profound impact on French literature and society during his lifetime and continue to be influential today. In the heart of 19th-century France, amidst the tumultuous waves of revolution and romanticism, Victor Hugo emerged as a literary titan, his pen carving stories that resonated with the soul of a nation. Born on February 26, 1802, in Besançon, France, Hugo was destined for greatness from an early age.

The young Victor displayed a prodigious talent for literature and poetry, earning recognition and accolades in his teenage years. His debut collection of poems, Odes et Poésies Diverses, published when he was just seventeen, hinted at the profound depth that would characterize his later works. As he matured, Hugo's literary prowess expanded to include novels, plays, and essays, establishing him as a polymath of the written word.

Hugo's first major literary success came with the publication of Hernani in 1830, a play that ignited the flames of controversy and marked the advent of the Romantic movement in French literature. His creative spirit, unbridled and impassioned, found a home in the Romantic ideals of emotion, individualism, and a deep connection to nature. Hugo's early works, including poetry collections such as Odes et poésies diverses (1822), gained him recognition in literary circles. His talent was evident from a young age. In 1831, Hugo published what would become his magnum opus and a cornerstone of French literature, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Notre-Dame de Paris). Set against the backdrop of medieval Paris, this novel wove a tapestry of love, tragedy, and societal critique. Through the iconic characters of Quasimodo and Esmeralda, Hugo explored the human condition, laying bare the injustices of society.

Yet, it was Hugo's unabating commitment to social and political activism that truly distinguished him. As a fervent supporter of republicanism, he used his pen as a weapon against tyranny and injustice. His writings, such as Les Misérables, published in 1862, provided a searing commentary on poverty, inequality, and the redemptive power of compassion. The character of Jean Valjean became a symbol of resilience and the potential for human transformation.

Exiled from France for his political views in 1851, Hugo continued to write and champion the causes he held dear. It was during this period of exile, on the island of Guernsey, that he produced some of his most notable works, including Les Misérables and Toilers of the Sea. As the winds of political change swept through France, Hugo returned in triumph in 1870, welcomed as a hero of the Republic. His later years were marked by continued literary output and a tireless dedication to causes such as education and human rights.

Victor Hugo's life came to a close on May 22, 1885, leaving behind a legacy that transcended literature. His words had become a rallying cry for the oppressed, a beacon of hope for those who dared to dream of a more just and compassionate world. In the annals of literary history, Victor Hugo remains a colossus, a poet, novelist, and activist whose impact endures, echoing through the corridors of time.

Les Misérables

Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged Inspector Javert. It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty.

It has been said that Victor Hugo has a street named after him in virtually every town in France. A major reason for the singular celebrity of this most popular and versatile of the great French writers is Les Misérables (1862). In this story of the trials of the peasant Jean Valjean—a man unjustly imprisoned, baffled by destiny, and hounded by his nemesis, the magnificently realized, ambiguously malevolent police detective Javert—Hugo achieves the sort of rare imaginative resonance that allows a work of art to transcend its genre.

Les Misérables is at once a tense thriller that contains one of the most compelling chase scenes in all literature, an epic portrayal of the nineteenth-century French citizenry, and a vital drama—highly particularized and poetic in its rendition but universal in its implications—of the redemption of one human being.

One of the first modern novels, Les Misérables took the unprecedented step of featuring a working-class hero and examining society's role in fostering crime and criminal behavior. Its portrait of altruism in the face of misery, poverty, and injustice is memorable for its vivid characterizations and its gripping plot, which unfolds in the manner of a detective story. An instant success around the world upon its initial publication, the book has inspired countless dramatic adaptations, including one of the world's longest-running musicals, and is routinely ranked among the top 100 novels of all time.

Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, Les Misérables 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.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Notre-Dame de Paris)

This extraordinary historical French gothic novel, set in Medieval Paris under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, is the haunting drama of Quasimodo, the disabled bell-ringer of Notre-Dame, as he struggles to stand up to his ableist guardian Claude Frollo, who also wants to commit genocide against Paris' Romani population.

The novel has been described as a key text in French literature[1] and has been adapted for film over a dozen times, in addition to numerous television and stage adaptations, such as a 1923 silent film with Lon Chaney, a 1939 sound film with Charles Laughton, and a 1996 Disney animated film with Tom Hulce (both as Quasimodo).

The novel sought to preserve values of French culture in a time period of great change, which resulted in the destruction of many French Gothic structures. The novel made Notre-Dame de Paris a national icon and served as a catalyst for renewed interest in the restoration of Gothic form.

In the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral lives Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer. Mocked and shunned for his appearance, he is pitied only by Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted. Esmerelda, however, has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, and when she rejects his lecherous approaches, Frollo hatches a plot to destroy her, that only Quasimodo can prevent. Victor Hugo’s sensational, evocative novel brings life to the medieval Paris he loved, and mourns its passing in one of the greatest historical romances of the nineteenth century.

One of the first great novels of the Romantic era, Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame has thrilled generations of readers with its powerfully melodramatic story of Quasimodo, the deformed hunchback who lives in the bell tower of medieval Paris’s most famous cathedral.

Feared and hated by all, Quasimodo is looked after by Dom Claude Frollo, a stern, cold priest who ignores the poor hunchback in the face of his frequent public torture. But someone steps forward to help—the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda, whose single act of kindness fills Quasimodo with love. Can the hunchback save the lovely gypsy from Frollo’s evil plan, or will they all perish in the shadows of Notre Dame?

An epic tale of beauty and sadness, The Hunchback of Notre Dame portrays the sufferings of humanity with compassion and power.

Toilers of The Sea

The Toilers of the Sea tells of the reclusive Guernsey fisherman Gilliatt, who salvages the engines of a wrecked ship by performing great feats of engineering, matching wits with sea and storm, and doing battle with a great sea monster - all to win the hand of a shipowner's daughter.

First published in 1866, Hugo's story unfolds the life of a reclusive fisherman, Gilliat, who lives on the Isle of Guernsey, where Hugo himself was exiled for a large portion of his life. When Gilliat becomes a young man, he falls in love with Déruchette, the beautiful niece of wealthy ship-owner Lethierry. When Lethierry's steamship mysteriously runs aground, Déruchette, who is in love with the new rector of the island, offers to marry the man who can recover the 'Durande'. Gilliat sets off at once to free the ship, and his feats of ingenuity and strength create some of the most memorable descriptions to be found in a romantic novel. Although the least known of Hugo's masterpieces, this deliberately grandiose tale is by turns a sympathetic, richly detailed account of the hard work of seamanship and exhilarating action, as in the remarkable battle with the octopus. This irresistible novel, written with Hugo's considerable narrative skill, is both captivating and haunting to its ironic conclusion.

On the picturesque island of Guernsey in the English Channel, Gilliatt, a reclusive fisherman and dreamer, falls in love with the beautiful Deruchette and sets out to salvage her uncle's wrecked ship to prove his devotion. 

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