The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Classic Starts Series) [NOOK Book]

Overview



Set in a richly rendered 15th century Paris, Victor Hugo’s powerful drama focuses on a beautiful gypsy girl named Esmeralda, the two men (including an obsessed and manipulative priest) who love her, and the pitiful hunchback Quasimodo who tries to save her. With this simplified yet spellbinding version, kids can enjoy all the excitement of Hugo’s masterful story.
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The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Classic Starts Series)

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Overview



Set in a richly rendered 15th century Paris, Victor Hugo’s powerful drama focuses on a beautiful gypsy girl named Esmeralda, the two men (including an obsessed and manipulative priest) who love her, and the pitiful hunchback Quasimodo who tries to save her. With this simplified yet spellbinding version, kids can enjoy all the excitement of Hugo’s masterful story.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathryn Erskine
Another volume from the "Classic Starts" series, this story of the disfigured bell ringer is summarized so that a young reader can follow the plot. Because the original is a weighty novel to condense, the abbreviated version may suffer from choppiness and is not always easy to understand. Explanations about the characters' motivations are lacking. Still, the key players are there, and the important actions are explained. Esmeralda's end is perfunctory, but perhaps that is best, given the understanding of younger readers. As the afterword explains, it is useful for readers to try to answer the questions at the back of the book, as well as to discuss them. In doing so, they will hopefully better understand the story and be able to relate the themes to other works and to their own cultures. The illustrations give a good feel for a time period, the late fifteenth century, and a way of life far removed from today's world. Reviewer: Kathryn Erskine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402786877
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 12/7/2010
  • Series: Classic Starts Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 461,680
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • File size: 1,006 KB

Meet the Author

Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
"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 master's works -- 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 ever applicable to our times.

Biography

Novelist, poet, dramatist, essayist, politician, and leader of the French Romantic movement from 1830 on, Victor-Marie Hugo was born in Besançon, France, on February 26, 1802. Hugo's early childhood was turbulent: His father, Joseph-Léopold, traveled as a general in Napoléon Bonaparte's army, forcing the family to move frequently. Weary of this upheaval, Hugo's mother, Sophie, separated from her husband and settled in Paris. Victor's brilliance declared itself early in the form of illustrations, plays, and nationally recognized verse. Against his mother's wishes, the passionate young man fell in love and secretly became engaged to Adèle Foucher in 1819. Following the death of his mother, and self-supporting thanks to a royal pension granted for his first book of odes, Hugo wed Adèle in 1822.

In the 1820s and 1830s, Victor Hugo came into his own as a writer and figurehead of the new Romanticism, a movement that sought to liberate literature from its stultifying classical influences. His 1827 preface to the play Cromwell proclaimed a new aesthetic inspired by Shakespeare, based on the shock effects of juxtaposing the grotesque with the sublime. The great success of Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) confirmed Hugo's primacy among the Romantics.

By 1830 the Hugos had four children. Exhausted from her pregnancies and her husband's insatiable sexual demands, Adèle began to sleep alone, and soon fell in love with Hugo's best friend, the critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve. They began an affair. The Hugos stayed together as friends, and in 1833 Hugo met the actress Juliette Drouet, who would remain his primary mistress until her death 50 years later.

Personal tragedy pursued Hugo relentlessly. His jealous brother Eugène went permanently insane following Victor's wedding to Adèle. His daughter, Léopoldine, together with her unborn child and her devoted husband, died at 19 in a boating accident on the Seine. Hugo never fully recovered from this loss.

Political ups and downs ensued as well, following the shift of Hugo's early royalist sympathies toward liberalism during the late 1820s. He first held political office in 1843, and as he became more engaged in France's social troubles, he was elected to the Constitutional Assembly following the February Revolution of 1848. After Napoléon III's coup d'état in 1851, Hugo's open opposition created hostilities that ended in his flight abroad from the new government.

Declining at least two offers of amnesty -- which would have meant curtailing his opposition to the Empire -- Hugo remained in exile in the Channel Islands for 19 years, until the fall of Napoléon III in 1870. Meanwhile, the seclusion of the islands enabled Hugo to write some of his most famous verse as well as Les Misérables (1862). When he returned to Paris, the country hailed him as a hero. Hugo then weathered, within a brief period, the siege of Paris, the institutionalization of his daughter Adèle for insanity, and the death of his two sons. Despite this personal anguish, the aging author remained committed to political change. He became an internationally revered figure who helped to preserve and shape the Third Republic and democracy in France. Hugo's death on May 22, 1885, generated intense national mourning; more than two million people joined his funeral procession in Paris from the Arc de Triomphe to the Panthéon, where he was buried.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Good To Know

Hugo was seen by his fans as a grand, larger-than-life character -- and rumors spread that he could eat half an ox in one sitting, fast for three days, and then work without stopping for a week.

Hugo owned a pet cat named Gavroche -- the name of one of the primary characters in Les Misérables.

The longest sentence ever written in literature is in Les Misérables; depending on the translation, it consists of about 800 words.

When Hugo published Les Misérables, he was on holiday. After not hearing anything about its reception for a few days, Hugo sent a telegram to his publisher, reading, simply:

"?"

The complete reply from the publisher:

"!"

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    1. Also Known As:
      Victor-Marie Hugo
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 26, 1802
    2. Place of Birth:
      Besançon, France
    1. Date of Death:
      May 22, 1885
    2. Place of Death:
      Paris, France

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 28, 2011

    good intro to hugo

    I wanted my kiddos to read some Victor Hugo before we go to Paris and as we are studying this time period in history. This seems like a fine intro for my third grader; a bit easy for my sixth grader, but still an okay take over all. I do wish there were more original lines and phrases though.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Mesmerizing Classic!!!!!!

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the Classic Starts series, was originally a world-famous classic written by Victor Hugo, centuries ago. The setting is in medieval Paris, and follows the lives of several different individuals, all linked to one another in some way. First, there is Pierre, the playwright which the story basically starts with. There is Esmeralda, the lovely gypsy dancer; Captain Phoebus, the general who pretends to be in love with Esmeralda; Claude Frollo, the disturbed, religious priest at Notre Dame who can't seem to find his own way or understand life; several mischeivous boys, including Frollo's brother; and finally, Qausimodo, the hero of the story, the deformed but kind " Hunchback of Notre Dame". Qausimodo is also Frollo's adopted son. Qausimodo hides himself in the bell tower, obeying Frollo's commands, good or evil. The trouble starts when Frollo commands Quasimodo to help him kidnap Esmeralda. Pierre tries to save Esmeralda, but is knocked down by Quasimodo. Eventually, Captain Phoebus comes to Esmeralda's rescue and arrests Qausimodo. However, Frollo is not arrested. When Qausimodo is being put into the stocks as a punishment, Esmeralda saves him. Soon enough, Esmeralda is arrested too, and once again, Frollo is the cause. While Phoebus was pretending to love Esmeralda, Frollo nearly kills him and pins the blame on poor Esmeralda. What's more, Esmeralda believes Phoebus really loves her, which of course, isn't true. Quasimodo saves Esmeralda and declares sanctuary for her, when she is about to be put into the stocks. But the story isn't over yet. In a twisting maze of drama and betrayal, Esmeralda ends up dead, and no one knows where Quasimodo or Frollo are. This tale is perhaps one of the most creative and captivating tales I have come upon, and for that, I praise Hugo with five stars, for I belive this book clearly deserves the five stars. I hope you enjoy this enchanting classic as much as I did!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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