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Free Study Guide-Les Miserables by Victor Hugo-Free Book Notes Summary
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NOTE ON OVERALL STRUCTURE

Les Miserables is a massive volume, which includes five sections that readers would generally recognized as books. It is a bit confusing, however, as each book is divided into chapters which are themselves actually labeled “books.” Each chapter is further subdivided under pithy subtitles in the manner of a text- book. Many of these small sections are only a couple of paragraphs while others are several pages long. In general, the following chapter summaries refer to the entire chapter or “book,” although some longer subsections are dealt with individually as needed.

The novel is as much history and commentary as it is fiction. In fact, so much of the history of France along with the thoughts and feelings of the people at that time dominates the book that the fictional elements almost seem accidental. The craft, however, comes through as the characters eventually interact in ways that would, in real life, be unlikely between individuals of such diverse socio-economic elements. The following list of titles and subtitles will be helpful in obtaining an overview of the overall structure.


FANTINE
Book First: An Upright Man
I. M. Myriel
II. M. Myriel Becomes Monseigneur Bienvenu
III. Good Bishop-Hard Bishopric
IV. Words Answering Words
V. How Monseigneur Bienvenu made His Cossack Last So Long
VI. How he Protected His House
VII. Cravatte
VIII. After Dinner Philosophy
IX. The Brother Portrayed by the Sister
X. The Bishop in the Presence of an Unknown Light
XI. A Qualification
XII. Solitude of Monsiegneur Bienvenu
XIII. What he Believed
XIV. What He Thought

Book Second: The Fall
I. The Night of a Day’s Tramp
II. Prudence Commended to Wisdom
III. Heroism of Passive Obedience
IV. Some Account of the diaries of Pontalieu
V. Tranquility
VI. Jean Valjean
VII. The Depths of Despair
VIII. The Waters and the Shadow
IX. New Griefs
X. The Man Awakes
XI. What he Does
XII. The Bishop at Work
XIII. Petit Gervais

Book Third: In the Year 1817
I. The Year 1817
II. Double Quarter
III. Four to Four
IV. Tholomyes is So Merry That He Sings a Spanish Song
V. At Bombarda’s
VI. A Chapter of Self-Admiration
VII. The Wisdom of Tholomyes
VIII. Death of a Horse
IX. Joyous End of Joy

Book Fourth: to Entrust is Sometimes to Abandon
I. One Mother Meets Another
II. First Sketch of Two Equivocal Faces
III. The Lark

Book Fifth: The Descent
I. History of an Improvement in Jet-work
II. Madeleine
III. Moneys Deposited with Laffitte
IV. Monsieur Madeleine in Mourning
V. Vague Flashes in the Horizon
VI. Father Fauchelevent
VII. Fauchelevent Becomes a Gardener at Paris
VIII. Madame Victurnien Spends Thirty Francs on Morality
IX. Success of Madame Victurnien
X. Results of Success
XI. Christus Nos Liberavit
XII. The Idleness of Monsieur Bamatabois
XIII. Solution of Some Questions of Municipal Police

Book Sixth: Javert
I. The Beginning of the Rest
II. How Jean Became Champ

Book Seventh: The Champmatheiu Affair
I Sister Simplice
II. Shrewdness of Master Scaufflaire
III. A Tempest in a Brain
IV. Forms Assumed by Suffering During Sleep
V. Clogs in the Wheels
VI. Sister Simplice put to Proof
VII. The Traveler Arrives and Provides for his Return
VIII. Admission by Favour
IX. A Place for Arriving at Convictions
X. The System of Denegations
XI. Champmathieu More and More Astonished

Book Eighth: Counter Stroke
I. In What Manner M. Madeleine Looks at His Hair
II. Fantine Happy
III. Javert Satisfied
IV. Authority Resumes its Sway
V. A Fitting Tomb

COSETTE
Book First: Waterloo

I. What You meet in Coming From Nivelles
II. Hougomont
III. The 18 th of June, 1815
IV. A
V. The Quid Obscurum of Battles
VI. 4:00 in the Afternoon
VII. Napoleon in Good Humor
VIII. The Emperor Puts a Question to the Guide Lacoste
IX. The Unlooked For
X. The Plateau of Mont Saint Jean
XI. Sad Guide for Napoleon: Good Guide for Bulow
XII. The Guard
XIII. The Catastrophe
XIV. The Last Square
XV. Cambronne
XVI. Quot Libras in Duce
XVII. Must We Approve Waterloo
XVIII. Recrudescence of Divine Right
XIX. The Field of Battle at Night

Book Second: The Ship Orion
I. Number 24601 Becomes Number9430
II. In Which a couple of Line Will be Read Which Came Perhaps from the Evil One
III. Showing that the Chain of the Iron Ring Must needs Have Undergone a Certain Preparation to Be Thus Broken by one Blow of the Hammer

Book Third: Fulfillment of the Promise to the Departed
I. The Water Question at Montfermeil
II. Two Portraits Completed
III. Man Must Have Wine and Horses Water
IV. A Doll Enters Upon the Scene
V. The Little Girl All Alone
VI. Which Perhaps Proves the Intelligence of Boulatruelle
VII. Cosette Side by Side with the Unknown in the Darkness
VIII. Inconvenience of Entertaining a Poor Man Who is Perhaps Rich
IX. Thenardier Manoeuvring
X. Who Seeks the Best May Find the Worst
XI. Number 9430 Comes Up Again and Cosette Draws It.

Book Fourth: The Old Gorbeau House
I. Master Gorbeau
II. A Nest for Owl and Wren
III. Two Misfortunes Mingled Make Happiness
IV. What the Landlady Discovered
V. A Five Franc Piece Falling on the Floor Makes a Noise

Book Five: A Dark Chase Needs a Silent Hound
I. The Zigzags of Strategy
II. It is Fortunate that Vehicles Can Cross The Bridge of Austerlitz
III. See the Plan of Paris of 1727
IV. Groping for Escape
V. Which Would be Impossible were the Streets Lighted by Gas
VI. Commencement of an Enigma
VII. The Enigma Continued
VIII. The Enigma Redoubles
IX. The Man with the Bell
X. In Which is Explained how Javert Lost the Game

Book Sixth: Petit Picpus
I. Petite Rue Picpus, no 62
II. The Obedience of Martin Verga
III. Severities
IV. Gaities
V. Distractions
VI. The Little Convent
VII. A Few Outlines in the Shade
VIII. Post Corda Lapides
IX. A Century Under a Guimp
X. Origin of the Perpetual Adoration
XI. End of the Petit Picpus

Book Seventh: A Parenthesis
I. The Convent as an Abstract Idea
II. The Convent as a Historical Fact
III. Upon What Conditions We can Respect the Past
IV. The Convent Viewed in the Light of Principle
V. Prayer
VI. The Absolute Excellence of Prayer
VII. Precautions to be Taken in Censure
VIII. Faith-Law

Book Eighth: Cemeteries Take What is Given Them
I. Which Treats of the Manner of Entertaining the Convent
II. Fauchelevant Facing the Difficulty
III. Mother Innocent
IV. In Which Jean Valjean has Quite the Appearance of Having Read Austin Castillejo
V. It is not Enough to be a Drunkard to be Immortal
VI. In the Narrow House
VII. In Which will be Found the Origin of the Saying, Don’t Lose Your Card
VIII. Successful Examination
IX. The Close

MARIUS
Book First: Paris Atomised

I. Parvulus
II. Some of His Private Marks
III. He is Agreeable
IV. He May be Useful
V. His Frontiers
VI. A Scrap of History
VII. The Gamin Will Have His Place Among the Classifications of India
VIII. In Which Will be Found a Charming Pleasantry of the Late King
IX. The Ancient Soul of Gaul
X. Ecce Paris, Ecce Homo
XI. Ridicule and Reign
XII. The Future Latent in the People

Book Second: The Grand Bourgeois
I. Ninety Years Old and Thirty Two Teeth
II. Like Master, Like Dwelling
III. Luke Esprit
IV. An Inspiring Centenarian
V. Basque and Nicolette
VI. In Which We See la Magnon and Her Two Little Ones
VII. Rule: Never Receive Anybody Except in the Evening
VIII. Two do not Make a Pair

Book Third: The Grandfather and the Grandson
I. An old Man
II. One of the Red Spectres of That Time
III. Requescant
IV. End of the Brigand
V. The Utility of Going to Mass to Become Revolutionary
VI. What it is to Have Met a Church Warden
VII. Some Petticoat
VIII. Marble Against Granite

Book Fourth: The Friends of ABC
I. A Group Which Almost Became Historic
II. Funeral Orations Upon Blondeau by Bossuet
III. The Astonishment of Marius
IV. The Back Room of the Café Musain
V. Enlargement of the Horizon
VI. Res Angusta

Book Fifth: The Excellence of Misfortune
I. Marius Needy
II. Marius Poor
III. Marius a Man
IV. M. Mabeuf
V. Poverty a Good Neighbor of Misery
VI. The Supplanter

Book Sixth: The Conjunction of Two Stars
I. The Nickname: Mad of Formation of Family Names
II. Lux Facta Est
III. Effect of Spring
IV. Commencement of a Great Distemper
V. Sundry Thunderbolts Fall Upon Ma’am Bougon
VI. Taken Prisoner
VII. Adventures of the Letter U Abandoned to Conjecture
VIII. Even the Invalides may be Lucky
IX. An Eclipse

Book Seventh: Patron-Minette
I. The Mines and the Miners
II. The Lowest Depth
III. Babet, Guelemer, Claquesous and Montparnasse
IV. Composition of the Band

Book Eighth: The Noxious Poor
I. Marius, Looking for a Girl with a Hat, Meets a Man with a Cap
II. A Waif
III. Quadrifrons
IV. A Rose in Misery
V. The Judas of Providence
VI. The Wild Man in His Lair
VII. Strategy and Tactics
VIII. The Sunbeam in the Hole
IX. Jondrette Weeps Almost
X. Price of Public Cabriolets: Two Francs an Hour
XI. Offers of Service by Misery to Grief
XII. Use of M. Leblanc’s Five Franc Piece
XIII. Solus Cum Solo, in Loco Remoto, Non Cogitabantur Orace pater Noster
XIV. In which a Police officer Gives a Lawyer Two Fisticuffs
XV. Jondrette Makes his Purchase
XVI. In Which Will be Found the Song to an English Air in Fashion in 1832
XVII. Use of Marius Five Franc Piece
XVIII. Marius’ Two Chairs Face Each Other
XIX. The Distractions of Darkness
XX. The Ambuscade
XXI. The Victims Should Always Be Arrested First

SAINT DENIS
Book First: A Few Pages of History

I. Well Cut
II. Badly Sewed
III. Louis Philippe
IV. Crevices Under the Foundation
V. Facts From Which History Springs and Which History Ignores
VI. Enjolras and his Lieutenants

Book Second: Eponine
I. The Field of the Lake
II. Embryonic Formation of Crimes in the Incubations of Prisons
III. An Apparition to Father Mabeuf
IV. An Apparition to Marius

Book Third: The House in Rue Plumet
I. The Secret House
II. Jean Valjean a National Guard
III. Change of Grating
IV. The Rose Discovers that She is an Engine of War
V. The Battle Commences
VI. To Sadness, Sadness and a Half
VII. The Chain

Book Fourth: Aid From Below May be Aid From Above
I. Wound Without, Cure Within
II. Mother Plutarch is Not Embarrassed on the Explanation of a Phenomenon

Book Fifth: The End of Which is Unlike the Beginning
I. Solitude and the Barracks
II. Fears of Cosette
III. Enriched by the Commentaries of Toussaint
IV. A Heart Under a Stone
V. Cosette After the Letter
VI. The Old are Made to go Out When Convenient

Book Sixth: Little Gavroche
I. A Malevolent Trick of the Wind
II. In Which Little Gavroche Takes Advantage of Napoleon the Great
III. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Escape

Book Seventh: Argot
I. Origin
II. Roots
III. Argot Which Weeps and Argot Which Laughs
IV. The Two Duties: To Watch and to Hope

Book Eighth: Enchantments and Desolations
I. Sunshine
II. The Stupefaction of Complete Happiness
III. Shadow Commences
IV. Cab Rolls in English and Yelps in Argot
V. Things of the Night
VI. Marius Becomes So Real as to Give Cosette His Address
VII. The Old Heart and Young Heart In Presence

Book Ninth: Where are They Going
I. Jean Valjean
II. Marius
III. M. Mabeuf

Book Tenth: June 5 th , 1832
I The Surface of the Question
II. The Bottom of the Question
III. A Burial: Opportunity for Rebirth
IV. The Ebullitions of Former Times
V. Originality of Paris

Book Eleventh: The Atom Fraternizes with the Hurricane
I. Some Insight into the Origins of Gavroche’s Poetry-Influence of an Academian Upon that Poetry
II. Gavroche on the March
III. Just Indignation of a Barber
IV. The Child Wonders at the Old Man
V. The Old Man
VI. Recruits

Book Twelfth: Corinth
I. History of Corinth from Its Foundations
II. Preliminary Gaiety
III. Night Begins to Gather Over Grantaire
IV. Attempts at Consolation upon the Widow Hucheloup
V. The Preparations
VI. While Waiting
VII. The Man Recruited in the Rue Des Billetes
VIII. Several Interrogation Points Concerning One Le Cabuc, Who Perhaps was not Le Cabuc

Book Thirteenth: Marius Enters the Shadow
I. From the Rue Plumet to the Quartier Saint Denis
II. Paris-an Owl’s View
III. The Extreme Limit

Book Fourteenth: The Grandeurs of Despair
I. The Flag: First Act
II. The Flag: Second Act
III. Gavroche Would Have Done Better to Accept Enjolras Carbine
IV. The Keg of Powder
V. End of Jean Prouvaire’s Rhyme
VI. The Agony of Death After the Agony of Life
VII. Gavroche A Profound Calculator of Distances

Book Fifteenth: The Rue De l’Homme Arme
I. Blotter, Blabber
II. The Gamin an Enemy of Light
III. While Cosette and Toussaint Sleet
IV. The Excess of Gavroche’s Zeal

JEAN VALJEAN
Book First: War Between Four Walls

I. The Charybdis of the Faubourge Saint Antoine and the Scylla of Faubourg Du Temple
II. What Can be Done in the Abyss but to Talk
III. Light and Darkness
IV. Five Less, One More
V. What Horizon is Visible from the Top of the Barricade
VI. Marius Haggard, Javert Laconic
VII. The Situation Grows Serious
VIII. The Gunners Produce a Serious Impression
IX. Use of that Old Poacher Skill, and That Infallible Shot Which Influenced the Conviction of 1796
X. Dawn
XI. The Shot Which Misses Nothing and Kills Nobody
XII. Disorder a Partisan of Order
XIII. Gleams Which Pass
XIV. In Which Will Be Found the Name of Enjolras’ Mistress
XV. Gavroche Outside
XVI. How Brother Becomes Father
XVII. Mortuus Pater Filium Moriturum Expectat
XVIII. The Vulture Becomes Prey
XIX. Jean Valjean Takes His Revenge
XX. The Dead are Right and the Living are not Wrong
XXI. The Heroes
XXII. Foot to Foot
XXIII. Orestes Fasting and Pylades Drunk
XXIV. Prisoner

Book Second: The Intestine of Leviathan
I. The Earth Impoverished by the Sea
II. The Ancient History of the Sewer
III. Brunesau
IV. Details Ignored
V. Present Progress
VI. Future Progress

Book Third: Mire but Soul
I. The Cloaca and Its Surprises
II. Explanation
III. The Man Spun
IV. He Also Bears His Cross
V. For Sand as Well as Women There is a Finesse Which is Perfidy
VI. The Fontis
VII. Sometimes We get Around When we Expect to Get Ashore
VIII. The Torn Coat-Tail
IX. Marius Seems to be Dead to One Who is a Good Judge
X. Return of the Prodigal Son-of His Life
XI. Commotion in the Absolute
XII. The Grandfather

Book Fourth: Javert Off the Track
I. Javert Off the Track

Book Fifth: The Grandson and the Grandfather
I. In Which We See The Tree With the Plate of Zinc Once more
II. Marius, Escaping From Civil War, Prepares for Domestic War
III. Marius Attacks
IV. Mademoiselle Gillenormand At Last Thinks it Not Improper that Monsieur Fauchelevent Should Come in With Something Under His Arm.
V. Deposit Your Money Rather in Some Forest than with Some Notary
VI. The Two Old Men Do Everything, Each in his Own Way that Cosette May be Happy
VII. The Effects of Dream Mingled with Happiness
VIII. Two Men Impossible to find

Book Sixth: The White Night
I. The 16 th of February 1883
II. Jean Valjean Still Has His Arm in a Sling
III. The Inseparable
IV. Immortale Jecur

Book Seventh: The Last Drop in the Chalice
I. The Seventh Circle and the Eighth Heaven
II. The Obscurities Which A Revelation May Contain

Book Eighth: The Twilight Wane
I. The Basement Room
II. Other Steps Backward
III. They Remember the Garden in the Rue Plumet
IV. Attraction and Extinction

Book Ninth: Supreme Shadow, Supreme Dawn
I. Pity for the Unhappy, but Indulgence for the Happy
II. The Last Flickering of the Exhausted Lamp
III. The Pen is Heavy to Him Who Lifted Fauchelevant’s Cart
IV. A Bottle of Ink Which Serves Only to Whiten
V. Night Behind Which is Dawn
VI. Grass Hides and Rain Blots Out

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