Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, LES MISERABLES 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.
Victor Hugo (1802-85), novelist, poet, playwright, and French national icon, is best known for two of todays most popular world classics: Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, as well as other works, including The Toilers of the Sea and The Man Who Laughs. Hugo was elected to the Academie Francaise in 1841. As a statesman, he was named a Peer of France in 1845. He served in Frances National Assemblies in the Second Republic formed after the 1848 revolution, and in 1851 went into self-imposed exile upon the ascendance of Napoleon III, who restored Frances government to authoritarian rule. Hugo returned to France in 1870 after the proclamation of the Third Republic.
Julie Roses acclaimed translations include Alexandre Dumass The Knight of Maison-Rouge and Racines Phedre, as well as works by Paul Virilio, Jacques Ranciere, Chantal Thomas, and many others. She is a recipient of the PEN medallion for translation and the New South Wales Premiers Translation Prize.
Adam Gopnik is the author of Paris to the Moon and Through the Childrens Gate, and editor of the Library of America anthology Americans in Paris. He writes on various subjects for The New Yorker and has recently written introductions to works by Maupassant, Balzac, Proust, and Alain-Fournier.
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