French History: Masterpiece PBS’ Les Miserables Series

One of my favorite books of all time is Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre DameI've always wanted to complete his other classic Les Miserables, which takes place a few centuries later, from 1813-1842. Like the former, Les Miserables dramatizes the difficult, sometimes traumatic lives of the poor, shedding new light on their struggle. In Les Miserables, Hugo focuses on a specific political moment: the June Rebellion in Paris.

Masterpiece PBS is releasing an all-new series based off of Hugo's classic novel to be released on April 14. The show will star Dominic West as Jean Valjean and Lily Collins as Fantine. Are you looking forward to learning more about French culture and history through the power of fiction like me? If so, check out these materials. 

Les Miserables: a 1998 film adaptation starring Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman

Les Miserables: a 2013 film adaptation for which Anne Hathaway won an Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actress.

Les miserables: a 1958 film adaptation of the novel in its original language (French). 

Les Misérables: the entire saga in audiobook form (English).

Cameron Mackintosh Presents Les Misérables: the audio soundtrack to the seminal Broadway musical production.

Should you decide to read the book, click the link in the introduction to find the original novel. Fun fact: the Masterpiece PBS series tried to remain as close to Victor Hugo's text as possible rather than relying on other renditions of the story, adding dramatic detail and depth. 

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