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Les Misérables

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Check It Out: Putting Literature In Context

Victor Hugo

The life of Victor Hugo, one of the giants of French literature, is a study in contrasts. This program chronicles how a man born into humble circumstances became a staunch monarchist and then a political liberal and supporter of the French republic. Though he lived many years in exile, Hugo was considered the conscience of the Republic, and his fame as a political force rivaled his renown as the author of plays, prose, and poetry. As a writer, he conquered the stage for Romanticism with his play Hernani and captured the imagination of untold millions with his epic novel Les Misérables. Readings from Hugo’s vast oeuvre are included throughout the program. (25 minutes)

Movie (French)

Victor Hugo: Les Misérables (228:00)

A vivid, compelling film dramatization of Hugo’s great novel, which provides students with an excellent historical and social portrait of France—and particularly Paris—at mid-19th century, as well as an insightful treatment of one of the greatest of all novels, one which is part of the basic cultural vocabulary. (French, 3 hours 48 minutes)

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