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At the 2013 Oscar Ceremony last night, Les Misérables was nominated for eight Oscars and won three.  I wish I could comment, however, I have not seen the movie yet.  I want to read the book first, which is about 1,200 pages long, so I should be finished sometime in the next year or two.  In the meantime, feel free to add your comments about the book or the movie or the Broadway show in the Comment section.

Courtesy IMBD.com

Here are some interesting facts about Victor Hugo, author of Les Mis.  And today happens to be his birthday.  When the movie was released, in 2012, it was the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the book.  We are still reading it and re-enacting it 150 years later – it must be a classic.  And it’s French, so c’est magnifique!

Victor Hugo – Courtesy of FreeThoughtAlmanac.com

  1. Victor Hugo was born in France on February 26, 1802.
  2. He is considered one of the most well-known French Romantic writers.  In France, he is most well-known for his poetry.
  3. At only 20 years old, Hugo was granted many gifts and a pension from Louis XVIII for writing a book of poetry and verses.
  4. He wrote The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, which was published in 1831.  The book inspired the city of Paris to restore the neglected cathedral.
  5. Les Misérables, which was published in 1862, sold out within hours of its release.
  6. The shortest telegram in history is credited to Hugo and his publisher upon the release of Les Misérables. Hugo was on vacation when the book was released and was waiting to hear from the publisher as to how it was selling. The telegram to his publisher was “?”  The publisher responded “!”, indicating the book was a success.
  7. Les Misérables has been produced in 43 countries and has been translated into 22 languages.
  8. The original Les Misérables musical opened in London in 1985 and was the longest running West End musical in history.
  9. Hugo was a national hero in France.  The celebration of his 80th birthday lasted for three days and included one of the largest parades in French history.  
  10. More than two million people marched in Victor Hugo’s funeral procession through Paris when he died in 1885.

Any thoughts on Hugo or Les Mis or the Oscars?  Has anyone read the book?