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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!

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Episode 59 extras

Jul 19, 2019

Here's what the last page of the manuscript looks like: 


You can see here that Hugo originally had a different epitaph, which he crossed out. It reads:

"Il dort paisible après un sombre et long martyre.

Quand il n'eut plus son ange, il mourut sans rien dire;

La chose simplement d'elle-même arriva,

Comme la nuit se fait lorsque le jour s'en va."


The last two lines of this draft are the same as in the definitive version, but the first two are different. They translate approximately as:

"He sleeps peaceful after a dark and long martyrdom.

When he no longer had his angel, he died without saying anything." 


As you may be able to tell, the other big difference between the first two lines in the draft and the final version is that this draft doesn't have the poetic features I discussed in the podcast episode; they're relatively regular alexandrines that don't create the uneasy feeling through their rhythm and internal rhyme.