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Victor Hugo
Besançon 26 Feb. 1802 - Paris 22 May 1885 • French poet, novelist, and playwright

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BOOKS BY VICTOR HUGO:

Les misérables
1862
France in the first quarter of the 19th century: Jean Valjean, a poor man, steals a loaf of bread and then spends years trying to escape his reputation as a criminal. In later years he rises to become a respectable member of society; but policeman Javert will not allow him to forget his past.
ON VICTOR HUGO'S BOOKSHELF

King Richard II
William Shakespeare, 1595
To Shakespeare's contemporaries, Richard II was a balanced dramatisation of the central political and constitutional issue of the time, how to cope with an unjust ruler. But over the last century or so, the play came to be regarded as the poetic fall of a tragic hero.

The Talisman
Sir Walter Scott, 1825
This adventure, set in the Holy Land of Crusader fame, is a tale of Richard the Lionheart, of his noble knight Sir Kenneth of the Leopard (the prince royal of Scotland in disguise) and of the great Saracen ruler Saladin who fought the historical Richard to a standstill in Palestine.

Ivanhoe
Sir Walter Scott, 1820
Ivanhoe, son of Cedric, of Saxon birth, loves Rowena, who traces her descent to King Alfred, and who returns his love. Cedric, who is devoted to the restoration of the Saxon line to the throne of England sees the chance of effecting this in the marriage of Rowena to Athelstane and banishes Ivanhoe.

Atala / René
Chateaubriand, 1801 / 1805
Two tales: 'Atala' (a Christian girl takes a vow to remain a virgin, but falls in love with a Natchez Indian) and 'René' (a young woman enters a convent rather than surrender to her passion for her brother).

Quentin Durward
Sir Walter Scott, 1823
Quentin Durward is a young Scotsman seeking fame and fortune in the France of Louis XI in the 14th century. Walter Scott represents his ignorance and naivete as useful to 'the most sagacious prince of Europe' who needs servants motivated solely by the desire for coin and credit.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
1832
Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre-Dame in Paris is mocked and shunned for his appearance. Esmeralda is the beautiful gypsy dancer who has pity upon him. This old tale mourns the passing of the medieval Paris that the author loved.
WHAT TO READ AFTER THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME?

HOPELESS LOVE ('BEAUTY AND THE BEAST')
Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë, 1847
This saga of two Yorkshire families in the remote Pennine Hills has been interpreted as a historical romance, a ghostly thriller, a psychological love-story, a religious allegory and a nature poem.

[Terug naar Ina Damman]
S. Vestdijk, 1934
Autobiographical story about a timid high school student's first love.

MEDIEVAL TIMES
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco, 1980
In 1327, Brother William of Baskerville is sent to investigate charges of heresy against Franciscan monks at a wealthy Italian abbey but finds his mission overshadowed by seven bizarre murders.

In a Dark Wood Wandering
Hella S. Haasse, 1949
Charles d'Orleans (1394-1465), shy nephew of mad French king Charles VI, is the focus of this historical novel, first published in the Netherlands in 1949.

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editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht, info@the-ledge.com
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