The Hunchback of Notre Dame
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Inspired by Victor Hugo's fascination with the beautiful and ancient Cathedral of Notre Dame, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a moving tale of innocence, love, and tragic misunderstanding. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer of the Cathedral, notices that his caretaker Frollo is in love with an enchanting gypsy named Esmerelda. Thinking to win happiness for his friend, Quasimodo attempts to kidnap the young woman. Esmerelda is rescued by a nobleman, Phoebus, and the unfortunate hunchback is swiftly punished. The deed incites further pain when Esmerelda falls in love not with Frollo, but with her gallant rescuer. The stars are thus crossed for all involved, and the unfolding of Hugo's tale is far from simple. Jealousy, loneliness, and unrequited love all play a part in this moving human drama, set against the towering backdrop of a timeless Parisian landmark.
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Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was born to parents on either side of the Napoleonic/Royalist conflict of nineteenth century France. Hugo's father was an officer in Napoleon's army and his mother was a passionate Catholic, loyal to the king. Growing up largely with his mother, Hugo took her rather conservative views as his own. Life experience and personal reflection, however, would eventually bring him to the opposite side of the spectrum. By the end of his life Hugo was both beloved and reviled for his strong liberal views. As a young man, Hugo found success as a poet and playwright, turning to fiction in 1831 with his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was not until after many years of work that Hugo produced his greatest novel, Les Miserables, which debuted in 1862. Although Hugo's vocal protests against the mid-century French leader Louis Napoleon forced him to live in exile for many years, when he at last returned home in the 1870s, he was celebrated as one of the foremost creative spirits and political figures in France, an honor he holds to this day.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
THE GRAND HALL.
Three hundred and forty-eight years, six months, and nineteen days ago to-day, the Parisians awoke to the sound of all the bells in the triple circuit of the city, the university, and the town ringing a full peal.
The sixth of January, 1482, is not, however, ...
Ratings for 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' by Hugo, Victor