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Victor Hugo was born in 1820. He was one of France's greatest poets, dramatists and novelists. During his lifetime he produced twenty volumes of poetry, nine novels and ten plays. He was deeply concerned with the social and political developments ofhis time and his outspokenness eventually forced him to leave France until 1870 when he was elected to the national assembly. Norman Denny was educated at Radley College.
"Hugo's genius was for the creation of simple and recognizable myth. The huge success of Les Mis rables as a didactic work on behalf of the poor and oppressed is due to his poetic and myth-enlarged view of human nature." --V. S. Pritchett "It was Tolstoy who vindicated [Hugo's] early ambition by judging Les Mis rables one of the world's great novels, if not the greatest... [His] ability to present the extremes of experience 'as they are' is, in the end, Hugo's great gift." --From the Introduction by Peter Washington