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Welcome to the website for "The Les Misérables Reading Companion," where you'll find all the episodes of this podcast about Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, plus extras relating to what I've discussed there. 

This page is a work in progress. Come back early and often for updates!

The comment function on this page was giving us trouble--comments disappearing, that sort of thing--so I've shut it off...

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Episode 05 extras

Jan 23, 2018

Here is a picture of a galère or galley, as they operated between the 15th and 18th centuries in the French fleet in the Mediterranean. The rowing would have been done by forced labor, often convicts. However, by the time Jean Valjean was sentenced to hard labor, these ships were no longer in use. He would have lived and worked in the port. 




And here is the promised link to the first chapter of Le Dernier Jour d'un condamné. It is in French, but even if you don't read French, you might enjoy having a look, and comparing it to I,2,viii of Les Misérables, "L'Onde et l'ombre," with the man overboard. The parallels are striking, even visually.