Victor Marie Hugo (French: [viktɔʁ maʁi yɡo] ( listen); 26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Hugo is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside of France, his most famous works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris), 1831. In France, Hugo is known primarily for his poetry collections, such as Les Contemplations (The Contemplations) and La Légende des siècles (The Legend of the Ages).
After 19 years of unjust imprisonment, Jean Valjean changes his name and sets out to restart his life and become a respected member of society.
Hugo's genius was for the creation of simple and recognizable myth. The huge success of Les Mis�rables as a didactic work on behalf of the poor and oppressed is due to his poetic and myth-enlarged view of human nature. --V. S. Pritchett It was Tolstoy who vindicated [Hugo's] early ambition by judging Les Mis�rables one of the world's great novels, if not the greatest... [His] ability to present the extremes of experience 'as they are' is, in the end, Hugo's great gift. --From the Introduction by Peter Washington