Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Fiona Cox (University of Exeter)
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The appearance of Victor Hugo’s

Les Misérables

in 1862 was one of the most extraordinary publishing sensations of literary history. The public had been well prepared in advance for this

magnum opus

from the man considered to be the greatest living writer. Hugo himself had engineered a massive advertising campaign in which he presented himself as the nineteenth-century Dante creating hell out of reality rather than poetry, and in which he promoted his work as the social and historical drama of the nineteenth century.

The socialism of Les Misérables directly underpins its spectacular sales history from even before the official launch. It was published in five parts – “Fantine”, “Cosette”, “Marius”, “L’Idylle Rue Plumet et L’Epopée Rue Saint Denis” [“The Epic of

2298 words

Citation: Cox, Fiona. "Les Misérables". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 April 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11234, accessed 22 April 2024.]

11234 Les Misérables 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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