Feb 6, 2018
In 1895, 10 years after Hugo's death, Edmond Biré undertook to explain the chapter "L'année 1817"/"The Year 1817" line by line. Here is the result. It is in French; to my knowledge, no translation exists. But, I don't happen to think that the English-speaking world loses much by that fact--this is the sort of analysis that can't see the proverbial forest for the trees. In my opinion, at least. Still, it's an impressive monument to his persistence.
The poem "Melancholia" from Les Contemplations is often called Les Misérables in miniature. It includes a character that we might consider a "draft" of Fantine (including plot points we haven't seen yet--consider yourself warned), as well as a story similar to the horse we saw in this section. This link is in French only, I'm afraid; I haven't found a translation I like yet--that's especially challenging with poetry.