One of the most revered French books of all time, Les Miserables, is still a beautiful book to read today. The beloved book, which was written by Victor Hugo, was first published in 1862. It tells several complex stories in which characters interact, influence, and deeply affect the smaller stories within the novel and the big picture as well. The stories within the book span a 17-year time period from 1815 to 1832.
The main character, Jean Valjean, experiences redemption and true change. Among many key points, the themes and natures of law and grace are explored. Although written so long ago, the book is surprisingly relevant to our lives today.
The book has been translated multiple times in very many languages. Titles that it has been published under include The Victims, The Poor Ones, The Wretched, The Wretched Poor, and The Miserable. Perhaps they are all fitting as the literal translation is “The Miserable Ones.”
The musical version of Les Miserables was first staged in 1980, and it would go to run for years in London, New York City, and many other cities around the world. Songs from the musical include “On My Own” and “Castle on a Cloud.” This musical version is currently being adapted into a major feature film starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Helena Bonham Carter.