One of the most widely read novels of all time, Les Misérables was the crowning literary achievement of Victor Hugo's career. An enormous melodrama set against the background of political upheaval in France following the rule of Napoleon I, the novel tells the story of the peasant Jean Valjean—unjustly imprisoned and hounded by his nemesis, the magnificently realized police detective Javert. A monumental classic dedicated to the oppressed, Les Misérables captures the entirety of life in nineteenth-century France.
About the Author
"If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away," the larger-than-life Victor Hugo once confessed. Indeed, this 19th-century French author's books — from the epic drama Les Misérables to the classic unrequited love story The Hunchback of Notre Dame — have spanned the ages, their themes of morality and redemption as applicable to our times as to his.
Date of Birth:February 26, 1802
Date of Death:May 22, 1885
Place of Birth:Besançon, France
Place of Death:Paris, France
Education:Pension Cordier, Paris, 1815-18