Feb 27, 2018
Here is the original story (in French) that is considered the origin of Fantine. An English version begins on page 42 of this ebook.
And, it also seems appropriate to give a little more information about Léonie Biard (née d'Aunet, 1820-1879). Before she turned twenty, she insisted, despite extensive objections, on accompanying her future husband on a scientific exploration in the Arctic, and her first foray into literature was a published account of the trip, Voyage d'une femme au Spitzberg (ebook at the link, in French). She met Hugo in 1843, and after the incarceration that followed the incident I describe in this episode, she became a good friend of Hugo's wife Adèle, even as the liaison continued with her husband. In the mid-1850s, she and her husband were finally legally separated, and she published several books, under her maiden name.