With an Introduction and Notes by Roger Clark, University of Kent at Canterbury. Translation by Charles E. Wilbour (1862). One of the great classics of western literature, 'Les Miserables' is a magisterial work which is rich in both character portrayal and meticulous historical description. Characters such as the absurdly criminalised Valjean, the street urchin Gavroche, the rascal Thenardier, the implacable detective Javert, and the pitiful figure of the prostitute Fantine and her daughter Cosette, have entered the pantheon of literary dramatis personae. The reader is also treated to the unforgettable descriptions of the Battle of Waterloo and Valjean's flight through the Paris sewers. Volume 1 of 2 AUTHOR: Victor Hugo's life (1802-1885) spanned most of the nineteenth century, and no other author portrays that turbulent period of French history than Hugo; on his death, he was accorded a state funeral. He achieved excellence throughout his huge body of work, but his two lasting achievements are 'Les Miserables' (1862) and 'Notre Dame de Paris', now more commonly known as 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'.