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The classic novel—and hit Broadway show—about escaped ...
The classic novel—and hit Broadway show—about escaped convict Jean Valjean
has been adapted with easy-to-read text, large type, and short chapters. This
engaging adaptation of the timeless tale is ideal for reluctant readers and
kids not yet ready to tackle the original.
Trying to forget his past and live an honest life, escaped convict Jean Valjean risks his freedom to take care of a motherless young girl during a period of political unrest in Paris.
Posted February 16, 2013
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo French Edition Part 1 Fantime
This is the first book of the famous work by Victor Hugo. It opens with M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenue Myriel, Bishop of D., a town in the mountains of France. The bishop (éveque) is a very kind man. He’s moved to the town with his sister, Madame Magloire, and their maid, Mademoiselle Baptistine.
He’s in charge of a hospital, but his house is bigger than the hospital, so he trades his house with the hospital. He never closes his door, so that everyone has access to God’s place. At one point, the cathedral is robbed of all its treasure and he decides, against all opinions, to go to where the bandit Cravatte lives and has a “Te Deum” at the small parish where the thieves live. The local priests argues that they’re not worthy of having such a big ceremony by the bishop. But M. Myriel tells them that God will provide.
As the ceremony is going to start, M. Cravatte leaves a package with all the stolen treasures from the cathedral, and the Te Deum is held. The bishop returns to his town having extended his influence in the country and with the stolen treasures.
We are then introduced to Jean Valjean, whose life was a miserable existence. He grew up very poor, his parents died when he was a young lad, and he’s forced to provide for his sister and her seven children. One terrible winter night, Jean Valjean steals from a store in town and he’s sentenced to the galleries to do manual work. He tries to escape and his five year sentence is extended to nineteen.
Jean Valjean is finally set free, but he can’t find work or shelter because of his passport - that tells everyone he’s a dangerous criminal. As he enters the town of D. he’s refused shelter at the two local inns. Finally, he ends up at Bishop Myriel’s house where he’s fed and sheltered. As he spends his first night in nineteen years in a bed, he can’t sleep and after fighting with his conscience, he decides to steal all the silver at the bishop’s house.
Valjean is caught by the local police, but upon returning to the bishop’s place, the bishop tells the police that the silver was a gift. M. Myriel tells Valjean that he’s bought his soul for God.
As Valjean leaves the bishop place, he steals from a child some 40 sous, and he then realizes that he needs to change - after all the bishop has bought his soul for God.
The book ends with four students and their girlfriends: Tholomyes -and Fantime, Listolier - and Dahlia, Fameuil - and Zéphine, and finally, Blachevelle and Favourite. After caroling, dancing, singing, dining and making love, the four students decide to give their girlfriends a “surprise.” It consists of a fabulous dinner at Bombarda, a restaurant at the Champs Ellysées. After finishing the diner, the boys give the girls a letter in which they say good-bye.
All the girls, except Fantine, laugh it off. But Fantine is very hurt: both because she was truly in love, and because she’s pregnant.
Victor Hugo uses his work as a platform to give the reader a critique: a critique of the times - Napoleon, the return of the royals (Louis XVIII), and a critique of the revolution and the poor state of the poor people. This copy of the work is an abridged version in French and only covers the first book. It was a pleasure to read in French....