The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Front Cover
Wordsworth Editions, 1993 - Fiction - 397 pages
3 Reviews
The story and characters in Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame have resonated with succeeding generations since its publication in 1831. It has tempted filmmakers, and most recently animators, who have exploited its dramatic content to good effect but have inevitably lost some of the grays that make the original text so compelling.
From Victor Hugo's flamboyant imagination came Quasimodo, the grotesque bell ringer; La Esmeralda, the sensuous gypsy dancer; and the haunted archdeacon Claude Frollo. Hugo set his epic tale in the Paris of 1482 under Louis XI and meticulously re-created the
day-to-day life of its highest and lowest inhabitants. Written at a time of perennial political upheaval in France, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is the product of an emerging democratic sensibility and prefigures the teeming masterpiece Les Misť rables, which Hugo would write thirty years later.
He made the cathedral the centerpiece of the novel and called it Notre-Dame de Paris. (It received its popular English title at the time of its second translation in 1833.) Hugo wrote that his inspiration came from a carving of the word "fatality" in Greek that he had found in the cathedral. The inscription had been eradicated by the time the book was published, and Hugo feared that Notre-Dame's Gothic splendor might soon be lost to the contemporary fad for tearing down old buildings. Notre-Dame has survived as one of the great monuments of Paris, and Hugo's novel is a fitting celebration of it, a popular classic that is proving to be just as enduring.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was foundedin 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hard-bound editions of important works of liter-ature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
Jacket paintings: (front) detail from Notre Dame by Paul Lecomte, courtesy of David David Gallery/SuperStock; (spine) Victor Hugo, 1833, by Louis Boulanger of Giraudon/Art Resource, N.Y.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (40 pp.; $15.95; Sept. 1997; 0-531- 30055-2): A storybook retelling of Hugo's classic of the lonely bellringer and his hopeless love for the beautiful gypsy girl, Esmerelda ... Read full review

The hunchback of Notre Dame

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Hugo's standard is being reprinted to tie in with the Disney animated feature. Though the average kid is not likely to wade through this epic, Hyperion's illustrated edition is actually quite nice if you're looking for a quality hardcover at a good price. Read full review

Contents

BOOK
3
Pierre Gringoire
19
Master Jacques Coppenole
29
Quasimodo
36
Esmeralda
42
Kisses for Blows
49
Tfo Danger of Following a Pretty Woman in the Streets
58
The Broken Jug
64
Showing that a Priest and a Philosopher are Different
211
The Bells
219
The Two Men in Black
232
7fo Spectre Monk
241
The Advantage of Windows Overlooking the River
247
BOOK EIGHT
255
Continuation of the Crown Changed into a Withered
263
Leave All Hope Behind
270

A Wedding Night
79
BOOK THREE
89
BOOK FOUR
119
Immanis Pecoris Gustos Immanior Ipse
124
The Dog and his Master
130
Claude Frollo
132
Unpopularity
137
One Shall Destroy the Other
147
BOOK
161
The Rat Hole
170
A Tear for a Drop of Water
190
End of the Story of the Cake
198
The Mother
281
BOOK NINE
299
Hunchbacked Oneeyed Lame
308
Earthenware and Crystal
314
TAe Key ofhe Red Door
323
BOOK
329
Turn Vagabond
338
An Awkward Friend
347
The Retreat in which Monsieur Louis of France says
363
The Password
389
Tie Beautiful Creature Clad in White
420
The Marriage of Phoebus
427

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1993)

Victor Hugo, born in 1802 in Besancon, France, was one of the leading French authors of the Romantic movement. Although he originally studied law, Hugo dreamed of writing. In 1819, he founded the journal Conservateur Litteraire as an outlet for his dream and soon produced volumes of poetry, plays, and novels. Hugo's most notable works include The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables. Published in 1831, The Hunchback of Notre Dame appealed to the public's consciousness concerning society and the treatment of outcasts. It was with the publication of Les Miserables in 1862 that Hugo gained international fame. Another tale of outcasts, this story follows the life of Jean Valjean, a man imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. After his release from prison, Valjean is hunted by the policeman Javert. Full of intricate details, the story also describes the famous Battle of Waterloo. (Hugo's father had been an officer in Napoleon's army.) Both of these works have been adapted for the stage and screen many times. These adaptations include the Walt Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the award-winning musical sensation Les Miserables. In addition to his literary career, Hugo also held political office. In 1841, he was elected to the Academie Francaise. After political upheaval in 1851, he was exiled and remained so until 1870. He returned to Paris in 1871 and was elected to the National Assembly, though he soon resigned. During Hugo's life, he had suffered devastating losses, including the death of his daughter in 1843, his wife in 1868, one son in 1871, and another in 1873. He lived out the rest of his life as a national hero and symbol of excellence, dying on May 22, 1888.

Bibliographic information