The Theft That Aided Inspire ‘Les Miserables’ : The Salt : NPR – Hifow

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Any one who has read through or viewed Victor Hugo’s masterpiece understands the plot of Les Miserables turns on the theft of a very simple loaf of bread. There was no sharper barometer of economic status in 19th-century France than bread.

Minnie Phan for NPR

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Minnie Phan for NPR

Any one who has read through or viewed Victor Hugo’s masterpiece understands the plot of Les Miserables turns on the theft of a very simple loaf of bread. There was no sharper barometer of economic status in 19th-century France than bread.

Minnie Phan for NPR

On a bitterly cold working day in February 1846, the French writer Victor Hugo was on his way to get the job done when he observed one thing that impacted him profoundly.

A slender youthful man with a loaf of bread underneath his arm was remaining led absent by police. Bystanders claimed he was remaining arrested for thieving the loaf. He was dressed in mud-spattered clothes, his bare feet thrust into clogs, his ankles wrapped in bloodied rags in lieu of stockings.

“It made me believe,” wrote Hugo. “The man was no longer a man in my eyes but the specter of la misère, of poverty.”

Any one who has read through or watched Les Misérables will understand that wretched scene quickly. It is retold in The Novel of the Century: The Incredible Experience of Les Misérables, a new reserve out this thirty day period by Princeton professor David Bellos, which tells the interesting tale driving Hugo’s 1862 masterpiece.



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