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He was no longer Jean Valjean, but No. 24601
Victor Hugos tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged policeman Javert. It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty. A compelling and compassionate view of the victims of early nineteenth-century French society, Les Misrablesis a novel on an epic scale, moving inexorably from the eve of the battle of Waterloo to the July Revolution of 1830.Norman Dennys introduction to his lively English translation discusses Hugos political and artistic aims in writingLes Misrables.
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