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Les Misérables

Les Misérables was written by Victor Hugo. Even though there was a first version of the novel called the Miséres during the years 1845 to 1848, the book was not published until 1862. The long period between the first version and the second suggests Victor Hugo’s increasing knowledge of French history and politics and, for some people, his conversion from monarchist to republican.

The novel shows Hugo’s view of French society, above all the way of life in Paris. For Hugo, Paris was the acme of civilization. He combines history, politics, philosophy, and religion in his masterpiece. His clearly defined characters play a very important role in portraying the human condition: Bishop Bienvenu, Jean Valjean, Fantine, Marius, Cosette, Inspector Javert, and the Thernadier. It can be ...

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