Les Misérables

Les Misérables
Les Misérables  
Portrait of "Cosette" by Emile Bayard, from the original edition of Les Misérables (1862)
Author(s) Victor Hugo
Cover artist Bob Hentons
Country France
Language French
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Ce.
Publication date 1862

Les Misérables (literally "The Miserable Ones"; usually play /l ˌmɪzəˈrɑːb/; French pronunciation: [le mizeʁabl(ə)]), translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a seventeen-year period in the early nineteenth century, starting in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion.[1]

The novel focuses on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption. It examines the nature of law and grace, and expatiates upon the history of France, architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. The story is historical fiction because it contains factual and historic events. Contrary to what some believe, it does not use the French Revolution as a backdrop. The French Revolution took place in the eighteenth century; Les Miserables takes place in the nineteenth. The only "revolution" depicted is the June Rebellion, a student uprising.

Les Misérables is known to many through its numerous stage and screen adaptations, most notably the stage musical of the same name.


Novel form

Les Misérables contains many plots, but the main thread is the story of ex-convict, Jean Valjean (known by his prison number, 24601), who becomes a force for good in the world, but cannot escape his dark past. The novel is divided into five volumes, each volume divided into books, and subdivided into chapters (for a total of three hundred sixty-five chapters). Each chapter is relatively short, usually no longer than a few pages. Nevertheless, the novel as a whole is quite lengthy by modern standards, exceeding 1400 hundred pages in unabridged editions (1900 pages in French). It also contains what has many times, incorrectly, been considered the longest sentence in a published novel. Within the borders of the novel's story, Hugo fills many pages with his thoughts on religion, politics, and society, including several lengthy digressions, one being a discussion on enclosed religious orders, one on the construction of the Paris sewers, another being on argot, and most famously, his retelling of the Battle of Waterloo.


Volume I – Fantine

The story starts in 1815 in Digne The peasant Jean Valjean has just been released from imprisonment in the Bagne of Toulon after nineteen years (five for stealing bread for his starving sister and her family, and fourteen more for numerous escape attempts). Upon being released, he is required to carry a yellow passport that marks him as a prisoner, despite having already paid his debt to society by serving his time in prison. Rejected by innkeepers, who do not want to take in a convict, Valjean sleeps on the street. This makes him even angrier and more bitter. However, the benevolent Bishop Myriel, the bishop of Digne, takes him in and gives him shelter. In the middle of the night, he steals Bishop Myriel’s silverware and runs away. He is caught and brought back by the police, but Bishop Myriel rescues him by claiming that the silverware was a gift and at that point gives him his two silver candlesticks as well, chastising him to the police for leaving in such a rush that he forgot these most valuable pieces. After the police leave, Bishop Myriel then "reminds" him of the promise, which Valjean has no memory of making, to use the silver candlesticks to make an honest man of himself. Valjean broods over the Bishop's words. Purely out of habit, he steals a 40-sous coin from chimney-sweep Petit Gervais and chases the boy away. Soon afterwards, he repents and decides to follow Bishop Myriel's advice. He searches the city in panic for the child whose money he stole. At the same time, his theft is reported to the authorities, who now look for him as a repeat offender. If Valjean is caught, he will be forced to spend the rest of his life in prison, so he hides from the police.

Six years pass and Valjean, having adopted the alias of Monsieur Madeleine to avoid capture, has become a wealthy factory owner and is appointed mayor of his adopted town of Montreuil-sur-Mer (referred to as "M--- Sur M---" in the abridged version). While walking down the street one day, he sees a gentleman named "Fauchelevent" pinned under the wheels of his cart. When no one volunteers to lift the cart, even for pay, he decides to rescue Old Fauchelevent himself. He crawls underneath the cart and manages to lift it, freeing him. The town's police inspector, Inspector Javert, who was an adjutant guard at the Bagne of Toulon during Valjean's incarceration, becomes suspicious of the mayor after witnessing his heroics. He knows the ex-prisoner Jean Valjean is also capable of such strength.

Years earlier in Paris, a grisette named "Fantine" was very much in love with a gentleman named "Félix Tholomyès." His friends, Listolier, Fameuil, and Blachevelle were also paired with Fantine’s friends Dahlia, Zéphine, and Favourite. The men later abandon the women as a joke, leaving Fantine to care for Tholomyès' daughter, Cosette, by herself. When Fantine arrives at Montfermeil, she leaves Cosette in the care of the Thénardiers, a corrupt innkeeper and his selfish, cruel wife. Fantine is unaware that they abuse her daughter and use her as forced labor for their inn, and continues to try to pay their growing, extortionate and fictitious demands for Cosette's "upkeep." She is later fired from her job at Jean Valjean's factory, due to the discovery of her daughter, who was born out of wedlock. Meanwhile, the Thénardiers' letters and monetary demands continue to grow. In desperation, Fantine sells her hair, her two front teeth, and is forced to resort to prostitution to pay for her daughter's "care." Fantine is also slowly dying from an unnamed disease (probably tuberculosis). While roaming the streets, a dandy named "Bamatabois" harasses Fantine and puts snow down her back. She reacts by attacking him. Javert sees this and arrests Fantine. She begs to be released so that she can provide for her daughter, but Javert sentences her to six months in prison. Valjean, hearing her story, intervenes and orders Javert to release her. Javert strongly refuses but Valjean persists and prevails. Valjean, feeling responsible because his factory turned her away, promises Fantine that he will bring Cosette to her. He takes her to a hospital.

Later, Javert comes to see Valjean again. Javert admits he had accused him of being Jean Valjean to the French authorities after Fantine was freed. However, he tells Valjean that he no longer suspects him because the authorities have announced that another man has been identified as the real Jean Valjean after being arrested and having noticeable similarities. This gentleman's name is Champmathieu. He is not guilty, but is mistaken. His trial is set the next day. At first, Valjean is torn whether to reveal himself, but decides to do so to save the innocent gentleman. He goes to the trial and reveals his true identity, but Javert does not arrest him. Valjean then returns to Montreuil-sur-Mer to see Fantine, followed by Javert, who confronts him at her hospital room. After Javert grabs Valjean, Valjean asks for three days to bring Cosette to Fantine, but Javert refuses. Fantine discovers that Cosette is not at the hospital and fretfully asks where she is. Javert orders her to be quiet, and then reveals to her Valjean’s real identity. Shocked, and with the severity of her illness, she falls back in her bed and dies. Valjean goes to Fantine, speaks to her in an inaudible whisper, kisses her hand, and then leaves with Javert. Fantine's body is later cruelly thrown in a public grave.

Volume II – Cosette

Valjean manages to escape, only to be recaptured and sentenced to death. This was commuted by the king to penal servitude for life. While being sent to the prison at Toulon, a military port, Valjean saves a sailor about to fall from the ship's rigging. The crowd begins to call "This man must be pardoned!" but when the authorities reject the crowd's pleas, Valjean fakes a slip and falls into the ocean to escape, relying on the belief that he has drowned.

Valjean arrives at Montfermeil on Christmas Eve. He finds Cosette fetching water in the woods alone and walks with her to the inn. After ordering a meal, he observes the Thénardiers’ abusive treatment of her. He also witnesses their pampered daughters Éponine and Azelma treating Cosette badly as well when they tell on her to their mother for holding their abandoned doll. Upon seeing this, Valjean goes out and returns a moment later holding an expensive new doll. He offers it to Cosette. At first, she is unable to comprehend that the doll really is for her, but then happily takes it. This results in Mme. Thénardier becoming furious with Valjean, while Thénardier dismisses it, informing her that he can do as he wishes as long as he pays them. It also causes Éponine and Azelma to become envious of Cosette.

The next morning on Christmas Day, Valjean informs the Thénardiers that he wants to take Cosette with him. Mme. Thénardier immediately accepts, while Thénardier pretends to have love and concern for Cosette and how reluctant he is to give her up. Valjean pays 1,500 francs to them, and he and Cosette leave the inn. However, Thénardier, hoping to swindle more out of Valjean, runs after them, holding the 1,500 francs, and tells Valjean he wants Cosette back. He informs Valjean that he cannot release Cosette without a note from the mother. Valjean hands Thénardier a letter, which is signed by Fantine. Thénardier then orders Valjean to pay a thousand crowns, but Valjean and Cosette leave. Thénardier regrets to himself that he did not bring his gun, and turns back toward home.

Valjean and Cosette flee to Paris. Valjean rents new lodgings at Gorbeau House, and he and Cosette live there happily. However, Javert discovers Valjean's lodgings there a few months later. Valjean takes Cosette and they try to escape from Javert. They soon successfully find shelter in the Petit-Picpus convent with the help of Fauchelevent, the man whom Valjean rescued and who is a gardener for the convent. Valjean also becomes a gardener and Cosette becomes a student.

Volume III – Marius

Eight years later, the Friends of the ABC, led by Enjolras, are preparing an act of anti-Orléanist civil unrest on the eve of the Paris uprising on 5–6 June 1832, following the death of General Lamarque, the only French leader who had sympathy towards the working class. They are also joined by the poor of the Cour des miracles, including the Thénardiers' oldest son Gavroche, who is a street urchin.

One of the students, Marius Pontmercy, has become alienated from his family (especially his grandfather M. Gillenormand) because of his liberal views. After the death of his father Colonel Georges Pontmercy, Marius discovers a note from him instructing his son to provide help to a sergeant named Thénardier who saved Pontmercy's life at Waterloo – in reality Thénardier was looting corpses and only saved Pontmercy's life by accident; he had called himself a sergeant under Napoleon to avoid exposing himself as a robber. At the Luxembourg Gardens, Marius falls in love with the now grown and beautiful Cosette. The Thénardiers have also moved to Paris and now live in poverty after losing their inn. They live under the surname "Jondrette" at Gorbeau House (coincidentally, the same building Valjean and Cosette briefly lived in after leaving the Thénardiers' inn). Marius lives there as well, next door to the Thénardiers.

Éponine, now ragged and emaciated, visits Marius at his apartment to beg for money. To impress him, she tries to prove her literacy by reading aloud from a book and by writing "The Cops Are Here" on a sheet of paper. Marius pities her and gives her some money. After Éponine leaves, Marius observes the "Jondrettes" in their apartment through a crack in the wall. Éponine comes in and announces that a philanthropist and his daughter are arriving to visit them. In order to look poorer, Thénardier puts out the fire and breaks a chair. He also orders Azelma to punch out a window pane, which she does, resulting in cutting her hand (as Thénardier had hoped). The philanthropist and his daughter enter—actually Valjean and Cosette. Marius immediately recognizes Cosette. After seeing them, Valjean promises them he will return with rent money for them. After he and Cosette leave, Marius asks Éponine to retrieve her address for him. Éponine, who is in love with Marius herself, reluctantly agrees to do so. The Thénardiers have also recognized Valjean and Cosette, and vow their revenge. Thénardier enlists the aid of the Patron-Minette, a well-known and feared gang of murderers and robbers.

Marius overhears Thénardier's plan and goes to Javert to report the crime. He then goes back home and waits for Javert and the police to arrive. Thénardier sends Éponine and Azelma outside to look out for the police. When Valjean returns with rent money, Thénardier, with Patron-Minette, ambushes him and he reveals his real identity to Valjean. Marius recognizes Thénardier as the man who "saved" his father's life at Waterloo and is caught in a dilemma. He tries to find a way to save Valjean while not betraying Thénardier. Valjean denies knowing Thénardier and tells that they have never met. Valjean tries to escape through a window but is subdued and tied up. Thénardier orders Valjean to pay him 200,000 francs. He also orders Valjean to write a letter to Cosette to return to the apartment, and they would keep her as a hostage until he delivers the money. After Valjean writes the letter and informs Thénardier his address, Thénardier sends out Mme. Thénardier to get Cosette. Mme. Thénardier comes back alone, and announces the address is a fake. It was during this time that Valjean manages to free himself. Thénardier decides to kill Valjean, and he and Patron-Minette close in on him. Marius is in desperation on what to do. He then remembers the scrap of paper that Éponine wrote on earlier. He throws it into the Thénardiers’ apartment through the wall crack. Thénardier reads it and thinks Éponine threw it inside. He, Mme. Thénardier and Patron-Minette try to escape, only to be stopped by Javert. He arrests all the Thénardiers and Patron-Minette (except Claquesous, who escapes during his transportation to prison, Montparnasse, who stops to run off with Éponine instead of joining in on the robbery, and Gavroche, who was not present and rarely participates in his family's crimes, a notable exception being his part in breaking his father out of prison). Valjean manages to escape the scene before Javert sees him.

Volume IV – The Idyll in the Rue Plumet and the Epic in the Rue St. Denis

After Éponine’s release from prison, she finds Marius at "The Field of the Lark" and sadly tells him that she found Cosette’s address. She leads him to Valjean and Cosette's house at Rue Plumet, and Marius watches the house for a few days. He and Cosette then finally meet and declare their love for one another. Thénardier, Patron-Minette and Brujon manage to escape from prison with the aid of Gavroche. One night, during one of Marius’ visits with Cosette, the six men attempt to raid Valjean and Cosette's house. However, Éponine, who was sitting by the gates of the house, threatens to scream and awaken the whole neighbourhood if the thieves do not leave. Hearing this, they reluctantly retire. Meanwhile, Cosette informs Marius that she and Valjean will be leaving for England in a week’s time, which greatly troubles the pair.

The next day, Valjean is sitting in the Champ de Mars. He is feeling troubled due to seeing Thénardier in the neighbourhood several times. Unexpectedly, a note lands in his lap, which says "REMOVE." He sees a figure running away in the dim light. He goes back to his house, tells Cosette they will be staying at their other house at Rue de l'Homme Arme, and reconfirms with her about moving to England. Marius tries to get permission from M. Gillenormand to marry Cosette. His grandfather seems stern and angry, but has been longing for Marius' return. When tempers flare, he refuses, telling Marius to make Cosette his mistress instead. Insulted, Marius leaves. The following day, the students revolt and erect barricades in the narrow streets of Paris. Gavroche spots Javert and informs Enjolras that Javert is a spy. When Enjolras confronts him of this, he admits his identity and his orders to spy on the students. Enjolras and the other students tie him up to a pole in the Corinth restaurant. Later that evening, Marius goes back to Valjean and Cosette’s house at Rue Plumet, but finds the house no longer occupied. He then hears a voice telling him that his friends are waiting for him at the barricade. Distraught over Cosette gone, he heeds the voice and goes.

When Marius arrives at the barricade, the "revolution" has already started. When he stoops down to pick up a powder keg, a soldier comes up to shoot Marius. After, a man covers the muzzle of the soldier's gun with his hand. The soldier fires, fatally shooting the man, while missing Marius. Meanwhile, the soldiers are closing in. Marius climbs to the top of the barricade, holding a torch in one hand, a powder keg in the other. He yells at the soldiers "Begone! Or I’ll blow up the barricade!" After confirming this, the soldiers retreat from the barricade.

Marius decides to go to the smaller barricade, which he finds empty. As he turns back, the man who took the fatal shot for Marius earlier calls Marius by his name. Marius, and the reader, discovers that it is actually Éponine, dressed in men's clothes. As she lies dying on his knees, she confesses that she was the one who told him to go to the barricade, in hoping that the two would die together. She also confesses to saving his life because she wanted to die first (although she does not provide further explanation to this). The author also states to the reader that Éponine anonymously threw the note to Valjean. Éponine then tells Marius that she has a letter for him. She also confesses to have obtained the letter the day before, originally not planning to give it to him, but decides to do so in fear he would be angry at her in the afterlife. After Marius takes the letter, Éponine then asks him to kiss her on the forehead when she is dead, which he promises to do. With her last breath, she confesses that she was "a little bit in love" with him, and dies. Marius fulfills her request and goes into a tavern to read the letter (in consideration that it would be inappropriate to read it beside her corpse). It is written by Cosette. He learns Cosette's new whereabouts and writes a farewell letter to her. The letter is delivered to Valjean by Gavroche. Valjean, learning that Cosette's lover is fighting, is at first relieved, but an hour later, he puts on a National Guard uniform, arms himself with a gun and ammunition, and leaves his home.

Volume V – Jean Valjean

Valjean arrives at the barricade and immediately saves a man's life, though he is still not certain if he wants to protect Marius or to kill him. Marius recognizes Valjean upon seeing him. Enjolras announces that they are almost out of cartridges. Overhearing this, Gavroche goes to the other side of the barricade to collect more from the dead National Guardsmen. While doing so, he is shot and killed by the soldiers.

Later, Valjean saves Javert from being killed by the students. He volunteers to execute Javert himself, and Enjolras grants permission. Valjean takes Javert out of sight, and then shoots into the air while letting him go. As the barricade falls, Valjean carries off the injured and unconscious Marius. All the other students, including Enjolras, are killed. Valjean escapes through the sewers, carrying Marius' body on his shoulders. He manages to evade a police patrol. He eventually finds a gate to exit the sewers, but to his disappointment, the gate is locked. Valjean suddenly hears a voice behind him, and he turns and sees Thénardier. Valjean recognizes him but his composure is calm, for he perceives that Thénardier does not recognize him due to his dirty appearance. Thinking Valjean to be a simple murderer, Thénardier offers to open the gate for money. He then proceeds to search Valjean and Marius' pockets. While doing this, he secretly tears off a piece of Marius’ coat so he can later find out his identity. Finding only thirty francs, Thénardier reluctantly takes the money and opens the gate, letting Valjean out.

At the exit, Valjean runs into Javert, whom he persuades to give him time to return Marius to his family. Javert grants this request. After leaving Marius at M. Gillenormand’s house, Valjean makes another request that he be permitted to go home shortly, which Javert also allows. They arrive at Rue de l'Homme Arme and Javert informs Valjean that he will wait for him. As Valjean walks upstairs, he looks out the landing window and finds Javert gone. Javert is walking down the street alone, realizing that he is caught between his strict belief in the law and the mercy Valjean has shown him. He feels he can no longer give Valjean up to the authorities. Unable to cope with this dilemma, Javert commits suicide by throwing himself into the Seine.

Marius slowly recovers from his injuries and he and Cosette are soon married.

Meanwhile, Thénardier and Azelma are attending the Mardi Gras as "masks." Thénardier spots Valjean among the wedding party heading the opposite direction and bids Azelma to follow them. After the wedding, Valjean confesses to Marius that he is an ex-convict. Marius is horrified by the revelation. Convinced that Valjean is of poor moral character, he steers Cosette away from him. Valjean loses the will to live and takes to his bed.

Later, Thénardier approaches Marius in a disguise, but Marius is not fooled and recognizes him. Thénardier attempts to blackmail Marius with what he knows of Valjean, but in doing so, he inadvertently corrects Marius' misconceptions about Valjean and reveals all of the good he has done. He tries to convince Marius that Valjean is actually a murderer, and presents the piece of coat he tore off as evidence. Stunned, Marius recognizes the fabric and realizes that it was Valjean who rescued him from the barricade. Marius pulls out a fistful of five hundred and one thousand franc notes and flings it at Thénardier's face. He then confronts Thénardier with his crimes and offers him an immense amount of money if he departs and promises never to return. Thénardier accepts the offer, and he and Azelma travel to America where he becomes a slave trader.

As Marius and Cosette rush to Valjean's house, he informs her that Valjean saved his life at the barricade. They arrive to see him, but the great man is dying. In his final moments, he realizes happiness with his adopted daughter and son-in-law by his side. He also reveals Cosette's past to her as well as her mother's name. Joined with them in love, he dies.



  • Jean Valjean (a.k.a. Monsieur Madeleine, a.k.a. Ultime Fauchelevent, a.k.a. Monsieur Leblanc, a.k.a. Urbain Fabre, a.k.a. 24601, a.k.a. 9430) – Convicted for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s seven starving children and sent to prison for five years, he is paroled from prison nineteen years later (after four unsuccessful escape attempts added twelve years and fighting back during the second escape attempt added two extra years). Rejected by society for being a former convict, he encounters Bishop Myriel, who turns his life around by showing him mercy and encouraging him to become a new man. While sitting and pondering what Bishop Myriel had said, he accidentally puts his shoe on a forty-sou piece dropped by a young wanderer. Valjean threatens the boy with his stick when the boy attempts to rouse Valjean from his reverie and recover his money. He tells a passing priest his name, and the name of the boy, and this allows the police to charge him with armed robbery – a sentence that, if he were caught again, would return him to prison for life. He manages to assume a new identity (Monsieur Madeleine) in order to pursue an honest life, after saving the two children of the (then) head police officer in Montfermeil, who thus does not feel motivated to inquire into Monsieur Madeleine's past. He introduces some new manufacturing techniques and eventually builds two factories and becomes one of the richest men in the area. By popular acclaim he is made mayor (after rejecting the offer once and rejecting the Legion of Honor award). He has a face off with Javert over Fantine's punishment, turns himself in to the police to save another man from prison for life (who the police think is Jean Valjean) and rescues Cosette from the Thénardiers. Discovered by Javert in Paris because of his habit of giving so much of his money to poor people, he manages to evade capture for the next several years in a convent – a man whose life he saved while mayor was employed there and wanted to return the favour and save Valjean's life. He saves Marius from imprisonment and probable death at the barricade, reveals his true identity to Marius and Cosette after their wedding, and is reunited with them just before his death, having kept his promise to the Bishop and to Fantine, the image of whom is the last thing he sees before dying.
  • Javert – A fanatic police inspector. Born in the prisons to a convict father and a gypsy mother, he renounces both of them and starts working as a guard in the prison, including one stint as the overseer for the chain gang of which Valjean is part (and here witnesses firsthand Valjean's enormous strength and just what he looks like). Eventually he joins the police force in the small village of Montfermeil. He arrests Fantine and butts heads with Valjean (as M. Madeleine, the mayor of Montfermeil), who orders him to release Fantine. Valjean dismisses Javert in front of his squad and Javert, seeking revenge, reports to the Police Inspector that he has discovered Jean Valjean. He is told that he must be incorrect, as a man mistakenly believed to be Jean Valjean was just arrested. He requests of M. Madeline that he be dismissed in disgrace, for he cannot be less harsh on himself than on others. When the real Jean Valjean turns himself in, Javert is promoted to the Paris police force where he arrests Valjean and sends him back to prison. After Valjean escapes again, Javert attempts one more arrest in vain. He then almost recaptures Valjean at 52–50 when he arrests the Thénardiers and Patron-Minette. Later, he goes undercover behind the barricade, but is discovered and unmasked. Valjean then has the chance to kill Javert, but lets him go, despite knowing that Javert now knows who he is, where he lives, and will be waiting to arrest him afterward. Later, Javert allows Valjean to escape. For the first time, Javert is in a situation in which he knows that the lawful course is immoral. His inner conflict leads him to take his own life by jumping into the River Seine.
  • Fantine – A Beautiful Parisian grisette abandoned with a small child by her lover Félix Tholomyès. Fantine leaves her daughter Cosette in the care of the Thénardiers, innkeepers in a village called Montfermeil. Unfortunately, Mme. Thénardier spoils her own daughters and abuses Cosette. Fantine finds work at Monsieur Madeleine's factory, and being illiterate, has other people write her letters to the Thénardiers. A female supervisor who discovers that she is an unwed mother fires her. To meet repeated demands for money from the Thénardiers, she sells her hair, then her two front teeth, and finally turns to prostitution. She becomes ill with a disease that may be tuberculosis. Valjean learns of her plight when Javert arrests her for attacking a man who called her insulting names and threw snow down her back, and sends her to a hospital. As Javert confronts Valjean in her hospital room, because her illness has made her so weak, she dies of shock after Javert reveals that Valjean is a convict and hasn't brought her daughter Cosette to her (after the doctor encouraged that incorrect belief that Jean Valjean's recent absence was because he was bringing her daughter to her).
  • Cosette (real name Euphrasie, a.k.a. the Lark, a.k.a. Mademoiselle Lanoire, a.k.a Ursula) – The illegitimate daughter of Fantine and Tholomyès. From approximately the age of three to the age of eight, she is beaten and forced to be a drudge by the Thénardiers. After Fantine dies, Valjean ransoms her from the Thénardiers and she becomes his adopted daughter. Nuns in a convent in Paris educate her. She later grows up to become very beautiful. She falls in love with Marius Pontmercy, and marries him at the end of the novel.
  • Marius Pontmercy – A second-generation baron (not recognized as such under the present régime because his father, Colonel Pontmercy, was ennobled by Napoleon Bonaparte) who fell out with his loyalist grandfather after discovering that Colonel Pontmercy was an officer under Napoleon. He studies law and later falls in love with Cosette. When Thénardier kidnaps Jean Valjean at 52–50, he hears Thénardier say that he mentioned a general or something at Waterloo, and from the description believes that Thénardier actually saved his father. After he marries Cosette, Thénardier comes to sell secrets to Marius (including the fact that it was Jean Valjean who saved Marius after the insurrection). Marius kicks Thénardier out of his house, but gives him several thousand francs and a draft for 20,000 francs payable from the Bank of New York for "saving" Colonel Pontmercy's life.
  • Éponine (a.k.a. the Jondrette girl) – The Thénardiers' elder daughter. As a child, she is pampered and spoiled by her parents, but ends up a street urchin when she reaches adolescence. She participates in her father's crimes and begging schemes to obtain money. She is blindly in love with Marius. At Marius' request, she finds Valjean and Cosette's house for him and sadly leads him there. She also prevents her father, Patron-Minette and Brujon from robbing the house during one of Marius’ visits there to see Cosette. After disguising herself as a boy, she manipulates Marius into going to the barricades, hoping that they will die together. However, she saves Marius' life by reaching out her hand to stop a soldier's bullet heading for Marius; she is mortally wounded as the bullet goes through her hand and her back. As she is dying, her final request to Marius is that once she has passed, he will kiss her on the forehead. He fulfills her request not because of romantic feelings on his part, but out of pity for her hard life.
  • Monsieur Thénardier and Madame Thénardier (a.k.a. the Jondrettes, a.k.a. M. Fabantou, a.k.a. M. Thénard, a.k.a. the Thenardiess) – A corrupt innkeeper and his wife. They have five children: two daughters (Éponine and Azelma) and three sons (Gavroche and two unnamed younger sons). They take in Cosette in her early years, mistreating and abusing her. They also write letters about fabricated events in Cosette's life to Fantine in order to extort money from her. After Valjean takes Cosette away, the family ends up losing the inn due to bankruptcy and moves to Paris, to a house called 52-50, changing their name to Jondrette. Thénardier is associated with an infamous villain group called "the Patron-Minette," but contrary to common belief he is not their head; both sides operate independently. The family also lives down the hall from Marius (see more under his entry). Inspector Javert arrests them after Marius thwarts their attempts to rob Valjean in their apartment. At the end of the novel, Mme. Thénardier has long since died in prison, whereas Thénardier and Azelma travel to America where Thénardier, with the money he receives from Marius, becomes a slave-trader.
  • Enjolras – The leader of the Friends of the ABC in the Paris uprising. Les Amis de l'ABC admire and believe in in him. A charming and intimidating man with angelic beauty, he is passionately devoted to democracy, equality and justice. Enjolras is a man of principle that believes in a cause – creating a republic, liberating the poor – without any doubts. He is completely encompassed by the revolution. Enjolras claims that his mother is the republic and his mistress is Patria (motherland.) He and Grantaire are executed by the National Guards after the barricade falls.
  • Gavroche – The unloved middle child and eldest son of the Thénardiers, younger than his sisters. He lives on his own and is a street urchin. He briefly takes care of his two younger brothers, unaware they are related to him. He takes part in the barricades and is killed while collecting bullets from dead National Guardsmen for the ABC students at the barricade.
  • Bishop Myriel – the bishop of Digne (full name Charles-François-Bienvenu Myriel, a.k.a. Monseigneur Bienvenu) – A kindly old priest who is promoted to bishop by a chance encounter with Napoleon. He convinces Valjean to change his ways after Valjean steals some silver from him and saves Valjean from being arrested.


  • Azelma – The younger daughter of the Thénardiers. Along with her sister Éponine, she is spoiled as a child, and suffers the same ragged and impoverished fate with her family when she is older. She also takes part in her father’s crimes. Unlike her sister, Azelma is dependent and faint-hearted. She also does not show any defiance toward her father (this is evident when, before Valjean and Cosette’s charitable visit, he orders her to punch out a windowpane in their apartment in order to look poorer. Although hesitant, she does so, resulting in cutting her hand). After the failed robbery of Valjean, she is not seen again until Marius and Cosette’s wedding day, when she and her father are dressed up as "masks" for the Mardi Gras. At the end of the novel, Azelma is the only known Thénardier child who does not die and travels with her father to America.
  • Bamatabois – An idler who harasses Fantine and puts snow down her back. He is also one of the jurors at Champmathieu’s trial.
  • Baptistine, Madame – Bishop Myriel's sister. She loves and venerates her brother.
  • Bougon, Madame (called Ma'am Burgon) – Housekeeper of Gorbeau House.
  • Brevet – An ex-convict from Toulon who knew Valjean there; released one year after Valjean. In 1823, he is serving time in the prison in Arras for an unknown crime. He is the first to claim that Champmathieu is really Valjean. He used to wear knitted, checkered suspenders.
  • Brujon – A robber and criminal. He participates in crimes with M. Thénardier and the Patron-Minette gang (such as the Gorbeau Robbery and the attempted robbery at the Rue Plumet). The author describes Brujon as being "a sprightly young fellow, very cunning and very adroit, with a flurried and plaintive appearance."
  • Champmathieu – A vagabond who is mistakenly accused of being Valjean.
  • Chenildieu – A lifer from Toulon. He and Valjean were chain mates for five years. He once tried to unsuccessfully remove his lifer's brand TFP ("travaux forcés à perpetuité", "forced labour for life") by putting his shoulder on a chafing dish full of embers. He is described as a small, wiry but energetic man.
  • Cochepaille – Another lifer from Toulon. He used to be a shepherd from the Pyrenees who became a smuggler. He is described as stupid and has a tattoo on his arm, March 1, 1815.
  • Colonel Georges Pontmercy – Marius's father, and an officer in Napoleon's army. Wounded at Waterloo, Pontmercy erroneously believes M. Thénardier saved his life. He tells Marius of this great debt. He loves Marius with his very heart, and although M. Gillenormand does not allow him to visit, he continually hid behind a pillar in the church on Sunday so that he could at least look at Marius from a distance). Napoleon made him a baron, but the next regime refused to recognize his barony or his status as a colonel, instead referring to him only as a commandant. The book usually calls him "The colonel."
  • Fauchelevent – Valjean saves Fauchelevent’s life when Valjean (as M. Madeleine) lifts a carriage underneath which he is caught. This provides the final "proof" Javert wanted to demonstrate to his superiors that M. Madeleine is actually Jean Valjean. Fauchelevent later saves Jean Valjean's life by providing sanctuary for Valjean and Cosette at a convent. He also claims Valjean as a brother, providing his name for Valjean's use.
  • Grantaire – Alcoholic student who, unlike the other revolutionaries, does not strongly believe in the cause of the ABC Society, but associates with them because he admires, loves and venerates Enjolras. In the novel, their relationship is compared to that of Orestes and his pederastic companion Pylades. Grantaire is executed alongside Enjolras. He usually signed his name as a capital R (a big R or a "grand R", since "r" is pronounced "air" in French).
  • Jean Valjean (elder) – The father of Jean Valjean, a tree pruner at Faverolles who was killed in a fall from a tree when the younger Jean was a boy. The story says he was called "Valjean" or "Vlajean" which is probably a nickname, a contraction of "Voila Jean."
  • Jeanne Mathieu – Wife of Jean Valjean (elder) and mother of Jean Valjean and his older sister; she died of Milk Fever when he was a boy leaving him to be raised by his sister.
  • Jeanne Valjean – Jean Valjean's older sister, a widow with seven children who takes care of Jean after their parents die. After Jean is imprisoned for several years he eventually hears that she has moved to Paris where she is working in a Print Shop and has only one child, the youngest boy, with her. The fate of her other six children is not mentioned. Valjean tries to find them after his release, but is unsuccessful.
  • Mabeuf – An elderly churchwarden. He was friends with Colonel Pontmercy, and then befriends Marius after Colonel Pontmercy's death. He helps Marius realize the love that his father had for Marius. Mabeuf has a great love for plants and books, but ends up having to sell his books due to continually tougher economic times and his descent into poverty. Gavroche steals the purse that Jean Valjean gave to Montparnasse after Montparnasse attempted to rob Jean Valjean, and throws it into Mabeuf's yard after hearing Mabeuf's discussion with his housekeeper about how poor he is. Mabuef takes the heavy purse to the police as a lost object where of course nobody ever claims it. After he sells his last book, feeling that all hope is lost, he joins the students in the insurrection. He is shot and killed at the top of the barricades when raising their flag. He has a brother who is a priest and died a few years before him.
  • Mademoiselle Gillenormand – M. Gillenormand's surviving daughter, she lives with her father. Her half-sister (M. Gillenormand's daughter from another marriage), deceased, was Marius' mother.
  • Magloire, Madame – Domestic servant for the Bishop and his sister. She is fearful that he leaves the door open to strangers.
  • Magnon – Former servant of M. Gillenormand and friend of the Thénardiers. She had been receiving child support payments from M. Gillenormand for her two illegitimate sons, who she claimed were fathered by him. When her sons died in an epidemic, she had them replaced with the Thénardiers' two youngest sons so that she could protect her income. The Thénardiers get a portion of the payments. She is soon arrested due to being allegedly involved in the Gorbeau Robbery (she wasn't).
  • Monsieur Gillenormand – Marius' grandfather. A Monarchist, he disagrees sharply with Marius on political issues, and they have several arguments. He attempts to keep Marius from being influenced by his father, Colonel Georges Pontmercy. While in perpetual conflict over ideas, he does illustrate his love for his grandson.
  • Mother Innocente (a.k.a. Marguerite de Blemeur) – The prioress of the Petit-Picpus convent.
  • Petit Gervais – A small boy who drops a coin. There are two perspectives on Jean Valjean's encounter with him. According to one, Valjean, still a man of criminal mind, places his foot on the coin and refuses to return it to the boy, despite Gervais' protests. When the boy flees the scene and Valjean comes to his senses, remembering what the bishop had done for him, he is horribly ashamed of what he has done and searches for the boy in vain. Another interpretation of this scene is that Jean Valjean was not aware that he was stepping on the coin, and snarls at Petit Gervais, thinking he is just annoying him, but realizes later that the coin was under his foot and feels horrible. Either way, he was unresponsive to the boy's pleas.
  • Sister Simplice – A nun who cares for Fantine on her sickbed. She lies to Javert twice to protect Valjean. Javert believes her because of her well known reputation for never having told a lie in her life (true, before Valjean and Javert).
  • Tholomyès (first name Félix) – Fantine’s lover and Cosette’s biological father. A rich student, he puts his own happiness and well-being above anything else. He does not think much of his relationship with Fantine, considering it as "a passing affair." Two years after Fantine has had his child, he abandons her as a joke. Hugo then concludes Tholomyès’ involvement in the story by saying that "twenty years later, under King Louis Philippe, he was a fat provincial attorney, rich and influential, a wise elector and rigid juryman; always, however, a man of pleasure."
  • Toussaint – Valjean and Cosette's servant in Paris. She has a slight stutter.
  • Two little brothers – The two unnamed youngest sons of the Thénardiers. The Thénardiers send their sons to Magnon to replace her own two sons who died of illness. They were playing in the garden when everyone in the house was arrested and think that Magnon simply vanished on them. A cobbler gives the boys a note written by Magnon with an address to go to but unfortunately, it is torn away from them due to a strong wind. Unable to find it, they end up living on the streets. They soon run into their brother Gavroche, who gives them a bit of bread and a place to sleep the night before the insurrection and the barricade. The two boys and Gavroche are unaware they are related. Immediately after Gavroche's death at the barricade, the two boys are last seen at the Luxembourg Gardens retrieving and eating discarded bread from a fountain. Their fates are left unknown.
  • Victor Hugo – The author claims that he was caught between rebels and soldiers during the insurrection in Paris but managed to take cover between two of the pilasters between buildings.
  • Patron-Minette – A quartet of bandits who assist in the Thénardiers' ambush of Valjean at Gorbeau House and the attempted robbery at the Rue Plumet. The gang consists of Montparnasse, Claquesous, Babet, and Gueulemer. Claquesous, who escaped from the carriage transporting him to prison after the Gorbeau Robbery, joins the revolution under the guise of "Le Cabuc" and is executed by Enjolras for firing on civilians.
  • Friends of the ABC – A group of revolutionary students. They fight and die in the insurrection of the Paris uprising on 5 and 6 June 1832. Their name is described as coming from the following: "They declared themselves the Friends of the A B C, the Abaissé, the abased, that is to say, the people. They wished to elevate the people. It was a pun which we should do wrong to smile at." Led by Enjolras, its other principal members are Courfeyrac, Combeferre, Jean Prouvaire, Feuilly, Bahorel, Laigle (nicknamed Bossuet, sometimes also written L'Aigle, Lesgle, Lègle or Lesgles), Joly, and Grantaire.[2]

Critical reception

The first two volumes of Les Misérables were published on 3 April 1862, heralded by a massive advertising campaign;[3] the remainder of the novel appeared on 15 May 1862. At the time, Victor Hugo enjoyed a reputation as one of France's foremost poets, and the appearance of the novel was a highly anticipated event. Critical reactions were wide-ranging and often negative; some critics found the subject matter immoral, others complained of its excessive sentimentality, and still others were disquieted by its apparent sympathy with the revolutionaries.[4] The Goncourt brothers expressed their great dissatisfaction, judging the novel artificial and disappointing.[5] Flaubert could find within it "neither truth nor greatness."[6] French poet Charles Baudelaire reviewed the work glowingly in newspapers,[7] but in private castigated it as "tasteless and inept."

The book was a great commercial success. The shortest correspondence in history is between Hugo and his publisher Hurst & Blackett in 1862. It is said Hugo was on vacation when Les Misérables (which is over 1200 pages) was published. He telegraphed the single-character message "?" to his publisher, who replied with a single "!". First translated into foreign languages (including Italian, Greek, and Portuguese) the same year it originally appeared, it proved popular not only in France, but across Europe. It has been a popular book ever since it was published, and was a great favourite among the Confederate soldiers of the American Civil War, who occasionally called themselves "Lee's Miserables" (a reference to their deteriorating conditions under General Robert E. Lee). Its popularity continues to this day, and many view it as one of the most important novels ever written.[8][9]

English translations

  • Charles E. Wilbour. New York: Carleton Publishing Company. June 1862. The first American translation, published only months after the French edition of the novel was released. Also, New York: George Routledge and Sons. 1879.
  • Lascelles Wraxall. London: Hurst and Blackett. October 1862. The first British translation.
  • Translator unknown. Richmond, Virginia. 1863. Published by West and Johnston publishers.[10]
  • Isabel F. Hapgood. Published 1887, this translation is available at Project Gutenberg.[11]
  • Norman Denny. Folio Press, 1976. A modern British translation subsequently published in paperback by Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-044430-0. In the very strictest sense this edition is not quite an unabridged translation: Norman Denny explains in his introduction that he moved two of the novel's longer digressive passages into annexes, and that he also made some abridgements in the text, which he claims are minor.
  • Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee. Signet Classics. 3 March 1987. An unabridged edition based on the Wilbour translation with modernization of language. Paperback ISBN 0-451-52526-4
  • Julie Rose. 2007. Vintage Classics, 3 July 2008. This new complete translation published by Vintage Classics includes a detailed biographical sketch of Victor Hugo’s life, a chronology, and notes. ISBN 978-0-09-951113-7


Film and television

  • 1907, On the barricade, directed Alice Guy Blaché, early adaptation of a part of the novel
  • 1907, Le Chemineau
  • 1909, directed by J. Stuart Blackton
  • 1909, The Bishop's Candlesticks, directed by Edwin S. Porter
  • 1911, directed by Albert Capellani
  • 1913, directed again by Albert Capellani
  • 1913, The Bishop's Candlesticks, directed Herbert Brenon, adaptation of the second book of the first volume
  • 1917, directed by Frank Lloyd
  • 1922, director unknown
  • 1923, Aa Mujou, directed by Kiyohiko Ushihara and Yoshinobu Ikeda, Japanese film, production cancelled after two of four parts
  • 1925, directed by Henri Fescourt
  • 1929, The Bishop's Candlesticks, directed by Norman McKinnell, first sound film adaptation
  • 1929, Aa Mujou, directed by Seika Shiba, Japanese film
  • 1931, Jean Valjean, directed by Tomu Uchida, Japanese film
  • 1934, directed by Raymond Bernard
  • 1935, directed by Richard Boleslawski
  • 1937, Gavrosh, directed by Tatyana Lukashevich, Soviet film
  • 1938, Kyojinden, directed by Mansaku Itami, Japanese film
  • 1943, Los Miserables, directed by Renando A. Rovero, Mexican film
  • 1944, El Boassa, directed by Kamal Selim, Egyptian film
  • 1948, I Miserabili, directed by Riccardo Freda
  • 1949, Les Nouveaux Misérables, directed by Henri Verneuil
  • 1950, Re mizeraburu: Kami to Akuma, directed by Daisuke Ito (English title: Gods and Demons)
  • 1950, Ezhai Padum Padu and Beedala Patlu, directed by K. Ramnoth in Tamil and Telugu.
  • 1952, directed by Lewis Milestone
  • 1952, I miserabili, re-release of the 1948 film
  • 1955, Kundan, directed by Sohrab Modi, Indian Hindi film
  • 1956, Duppathage Duka, Sri Lankan Sinhala film
  • 1957, Sirakaruwa, directed by Sirisena Wimalaweera, Sri Lankan Sinhala film
  • 1958, directed by Jean-Paul Le Chanois, starring Jean Gabin
  • 1958, Os Miseráveis, directed by Dionísio Azevedo, Brazilian film
  • 1961, Jean Valjean, Korean film by Seung-ha Jo
  • 1961, Cosette, directed by Alain Boudet on Claude Santelli’s program Le Théâtre de la jeunesse
  • 1962, Gavroche, directed by Alain Boudet on Le Théâtre de la jeunesse
  • 1963, Jean Valjean, directed by Alain Boudet on Le Théâtre de la jeunesse
  • 1964, I miserabili, Italian TV-miniseries directed by Sandro Bolchi, starring: Gastone Moschin (Jean Valjean), Tino Carraro (Javert), Giulia Lazzarini (Fantine/adult Cosette), Loretta Goggi (young Cosette), Antonio Battistella (Thénardier), Cesarina Gheraldi (Mme. Thénardier), Angela Cardile (Éponine), Roberto Bisacco (Marius), Claudio Sora (Enjolras), Aldo Silvani (Monseigneur Bienvenu) and Edoardo Nevola (Gavroche), nearly ten hours long
  • 1967, TV miniseries directed by Alan Bridges, starring: Frank Finlay (Jean Valjean), Anthony Bate (Javert), Alan Rowe (Thénardier), Judy Parfitt (Mme. Thénardier), Michele Dotrice (Fantine), Lesley Roach (Cosette), Elizabeth Counsell (Éponine), Vivian Mackerall (Marius), Derek Lamden (Gavroche), Cavan Kendall (Enjolras), Finlay Currie (Bishop of Digne)
  • 1967, Os Miseráveis, Brazilian film
  • 1967, Sefiller, Turkish film
  • 1972, French TV miniseries directed by Marcel Bluwal, starring: Georges Géret (Jean Valjean), Bernard Fresson (Javert), Nicole Jamet (Cosette), François Marthouret (Marius), Alain Mottet (Thénardier), Micha Bayard (Mme. Thénardier), Hermine Karagheuz (Éponine), Anne-Marie Coffinet (Fantine), Jean-Luc Boutté (Enjolras), Gilles Maidon (Gavroche), François Vibert (Monseigneur Myriel)
  • 1973, Los Miserables, Mexican TV adaptation directed by Antulio Jiménez Pons. Starring: Sergio Bustamante (Jean Valjean), Antonio Passy (Javert), Blanca Sánchez (Fantine), Edith González (Young Cosette), Carlos Ancira (Thénardier), Magda Guzmán (Mme. Thénardier), Diana Bracho (Cosette), Luis Torner (Marius), María Rojo (Éponine), Carlos Arguelles (Gavroche), Héctor Bonilla (Enjolras), Ángel Garasa (Bishop Myriel), Fernando Soler (M. Gillenormand), Alejandro Ciangherotti (Fauchelevent), José Luis Jiménez (Mabeuf)
  • 1978, UK telefilm, directed by Glenn Jordan and starring Anthony Perkins, Richard Jordan, John Gielgud, Cyril Cusack, and Claude Dauphin
  • 1978, Al Boasa, Egyptian adaptation
  • 1982, directed by Robert Hossein
  • 1985, TV version of the 1982 film, which is 30 minutes longer and divided into four parts
  • 1995, directed by Claude Lelouch (a loose, multi-layered adaptation set in the 20th century starring Jean-Paul Belmondo)
  • 1995, Les Misérables – The Dream Cast in Concert (musical done in concert style)
  • 1998, directed by Bille August and starring Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman, Hans Matheson, and Claire Danes
  • 2000, 6-hour French TV miniseries directed by Josée Dayan and co-produced by Gérard Depardieu, starring: Gérard Depardieu (Jean Valjean), John Malkovich (Javert), Christian Clavier (Thénardier), Veronica Ferres (Mme. Thénardier), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Fantine), Virginie Ledoyen (Cosette), Enrico Lo Verso (Marius), Asia Argento (Éponine), Jeanne Moreau (Mother Innocente), Steffen Wink (Enjolras), Jérôme Hardelay (Gavroche), Otto Sander (Monseigneur Bienvenu)
  • 2000, 3-hour English TV movie version of the 2000 French miniseries.
  • 2010, Les Misérables – 25th Anniversary (musical done in concert style)
  • 2011, Les Misérables – Sold in the US, played on PBS in early March.
  • 2012, adaptation of the stage musical, directed by Tom Hooper.


  • 1977, Cosette, Soviet animation
  • 1977, Shoujo Cosette, broadcasted on the Japanese television program Manga Sekai Mukashi Banashi, 1 episode, Japanese animation
  • 1978, Aa Mujou, cover the first two volumes of the novel, broadcasted on Manga Sekai Mukashi Banashi, 13 episodes, Japanese animation
  • 1979, Jean Valjean Monogatari, directed by Takashi Kuoka for Toei Animation and written by Masaki Tsuji, Japanese animation
  • 1988, by Emerald City Productions
  • 1992, a 26 episode French animated TV series by Studios Animage, AB Productions and Pixibox
  • 2007, Les Misérables: Shōjo Cosette, a 52 episode Japanese animated TV series by Nippon Animation



  • In 1980, a musical of the same name opened in Paris at the Palais des Sports. It has gone on to become one of the most successful musicals in history. It was directed by Robert Hossein, the music was composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg, and the libretto was written by Alain Boublil.
  • In 1985, an English language version opened in London at the Barbican Arts Centre. It was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. The lyrics were written by Herbert Kretzmer and additional material by James Fenton.
  • In 1987, the musical debuted on Broadway in New York City at the Broadway Theatre.
  • 1992, the musical debuted in Madrid at Teatro Nuevo Apolo.
  • 2003, Les Misérables: School Edition
  • 2008, Les Misérables: Le Capitole de Québec version, directed by Frédéric Dubois
  • 2010, Les Misérables, 25th Anniversary Production opened in Madrid at Teatro Lope de Vega.
  • 2011, Les Misérables at Malmö Opera, Sweden
  • 2011 Les Miserables at The Kennedy Center, Washington DC


  • In 1863, one year after the novel was published, Charles Victor Hugo (Hugo's son) and Paul Meurice first adapted the novel for theatre.[19][20]
  • In 1906, Broadway actor Wilton Lackaye wrote an adaptation in five acts, titled The Law and the Man, though primarily with the interest of creating himself a strong role (he would play Valjean).[21]
  • An outdoor adaptation is performed in the summer every year at the Citadelle in Montreuil-sur-Mer,[19][22] the setting of the first part of the book.
  • There is a play adaptation by Jonathan Holloway.[19][23] Donvale Christian College performed the Holloway adaptation for stage during late April 2010, using limited modern objects for certain scenes.
  • There is a play adaptation by Tim Kelly.[19][24]
  • There is a play adaptation by Spiritual Twist Productions.[19][25] This play highlights more of the religious aspect from the novel.[19][25] It was last performed in April 2005 at the Clayton Center.[25]


  • An adventure game has been released by Chris Tolworthy, intended as a direct adaptation of the book.[26][27]
  • There is a free downloadable amateur 2D fighting game based on the musical. The game is called ArmJoe, which is created by Takase.[28][29][30] The name is a pun on the novel's Japanese title Aa Mujou (ああ無情).[29][30] The game incorporates the major characters as they appear in the musical, namely Jean Valjean, Enjolras, Marius, Cosette, Éponine, Thénardier, and Javert – as well as a policeman, a robotic clone of Valjean called RoboJean, an embodiment of Judgement, and a rabbit named Ponpon.[30]

Unofficial sequels

  • In July 1995, Laura Kalpakian's novel Cosette: The Sequel to Les Misérables was released. The novel is published by HarperCollins. Tom De Haven from Entertainment Weekly called the novel "dull and overwrought and corny,"[31] and gave it a C- grading.[31] The novel is mostly a sequel to the musical than to Hugo's novel.
  • In 2001, François Cérésa released his own two sequels to the novel: Cosette or the Time of Illusions and the follow-up Marius or The Fugitive. Both novels are published by Plon. Hugo's descendants, including his great-great-grandson Pierre Hugo, wanted the novels banned, considering that they breach the moral rights of the author and betrays the "respect of the integrity" and "spirit" of Hugo's original novel to make money.[32][33][34][35] Cérésa had even retconned a key scene in the original novel, bringing back the character Inspector Javert and changed him to be a hero.[32][35][36] In 2007, the Cour de Cassation ruled in favour of Cérésa and Plon.[32][33][34]

See also

Book collection.jpg Novels portal


  1. ^ "BBC News – Bon anniversaire! 25 facts about Les Mis". BBC Online. 1 October 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11437196. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  2. ^ s:Les Misérables/Volume 3/Book Fourth/Chapter 1
  3. ^ La réception des Misérables en 1862 – Max Bach – PMLA, Vol. 77, No. 5 (Dec., 1962)
  4. ^ L. Gauthier wrote in Le Monde of 17 August 1862: "One cannot read without an unconquerable disgust all the details Monsieur Hugo gives regarding the successful planning of riots." (see [1])
  5. ^ dealCOM, webmaster@dealcom.com. "Publications et écrit – CULTURESFRANCE". Adpf.asso.fr. http://www.adpf.asso.fr/adpf-publi/folio/hugo_contemporain/09.html. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  6. ^ Letter of G. Flaubert to Madame Roger des Genettes – July 1862 (see [2]). In this private letter, Flaubert, declaring himself exasperated by the novel and indignant at watching "the fall of a God," complains of the crude, stereotyped characters – who all "speak very well – but all in the same way" – and finally pronounces the book "infantile."
  7. ^ Les Misérables de Victor Hugo par Charles Baudelaire dans le journal Le Boulevard (1862)
  8. ^ Réception des Misérables en Grèce by Marguerite Yourcenar
  9. ^ Réception des Misérables au Portugal
  10. ^ http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0149-6611(195903)74%3A3%3C240%3ASTOLM%3E2.0.CO%3B2-X
  11. ^ "Les Misérables by Victor Hugo – Project Gutenberg". Gutenberg.org. 22 June 2008. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/135. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  12. ^ "The Mercury Theatre on the Air". Mercurytheatre.info. http://www.mercurytheatre.info/. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  13. ^ "Les Misérables – 1937 Radio Program (US)". PontAuChange.com. http://www.pontauchange.com/Media/1937radio.html. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "Les Misérables – Lux Radio Theater 1952". PontAuChange.com. 22 December 1952. http://www.pontauchange.com/Media/1952radio.html. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "Les Miserables – CBS Radio Program". PontAuChange.com. http://www.pontauchange.com/Media/1980radio.html. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  16. ^ "The Official Roger Allam Fan Site". Rogerallam.co.uk. 5 April 2004. http://www.rogerallam.co.uk/lesmisradio.html. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  17. ^ "Les Misérables – BBC4 Radio Serial (UK)". PontAuChange.com. http://www.pontauchange.com/Media/2001bbc4radio.html. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "Les Misérables – 2002 Radio Program (US)". PontAuChange.com. http://www.pontauchange.com/Media/2002radio.html. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f "LES MISERABLES: five theatrical versions". Lesmisgame.com. http://lesmisgame.com/plays.html. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  20. ^ "Literature on the Age of Napoleon: Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo". Napoleonic-literature.com. 1 January 2005. http://www.napoleonic-literature.com/AgeOfNapoleon/E-Texts/Miserables.html. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  21. ^ ""LES MISLRABLES" IN PANORAMIC MELODRAMA; Lackaye Slices Hugo to Make a Manhattan Holiday. THE RESULT IS INTERESTING " The Law and the Man" Transfers to the Stage Many Incidents of Jean Valjean's Career" (PDF). The New York Times. 21 December 1906. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9D05E2D7143DE733A25752C2A9649D946797D6CF. 
  22. ^ "Victor Hugo's 'Les Miserables' at Montreuil". Theotherside.co.uk. 5 April 2000. http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/visit/visit-montreuil-miserables.htm. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  23. ^ http://www.samuelfrench.com/store/product_info.php/products_id/1516
  24. ^ "Les Miserables". Dramaticpublishing.com. http://www.dramaticpublishing.com/p821/Les-Miserables/product_info.html. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  25. ^ a b c "Les Miserables: A Story of Grace". Spiritualtwist.com. http://spiritualtwist.com/past-plays/pp-les-miserables-a-story-of-grace. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  26. ^ "Les Miserables: The Game Of The Book". Lesmisgame.com. 23 March 2009. http://www.lesmisgame.com/. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  27. ^ "Les Miserables: The Game of the Book". Tigsource.com. 20 June 2009. http://tigsource.com/articles/2009/06/20/les-miserables-the-game-of-the-book. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  28. ^ "ArmJoe's Official Site". Takase.syuriken.jp. http://takase.syuriken.jp/ArmJoe.htm. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  29. ^ a b "GamerWiki's ArmJoe page". Gamerwiki.com. http://www.gamerwiki.com/index.php/Arm_Joe_(PC). Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
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  • Les Misérables — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Les Misérables (homonymie). Les Misérables …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Les Misérables — Les Mis|é|rables also Les Miz informal a ↑musical (=a play that uses song and dance to tell a story) which is one of the most popular stage shows ever and has been performed all over the world. It is based on a novel by Victor Hugo, and tells the …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Les Misérables — Fr. /lay mee zay rddann bleu/ a novel (1862) by Victor Hugo. * * * …   Universalium

  • Les Misérables — Fr. /lay mee zay rddann bleu/ a novel (1862) by Victor Hugo …   Useful english dictionary

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