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Victor Hugo used a variety of unusual names in 'Les Miserables'. Lets look at some of the major characters. Were the names in Les Miserables, other than Jean and Marius, common in France at the time of the book's setting (~1815-1830) or writing (~1860s)?
- Jean (Valjean) - One of the historically most common masculine surnames
- Cosette - Her actual name was Euphrasie which is a reasonably well attested name.
- Marius - The 34th most common masculine name in 1900, according to Behind the Names.
- Gavroche - translates as newsboy?
For the names with no notes, a Google search did not find any useful instances of name use. I considered that they may be surnames, but then Marius (Pontmercy) and Eponine and Gavroche (Thenardier) at least already have a surname. Cosette and Fantine may also share a surname.
I don't believe "Fantine" is a proper name, that is no mother ever names a child "Fantine" it's more of a nickname. It comes from the same root as "infant". It basically means "babyish"… which being an orphan girl matches her character.
This name was used by Victor Hugo for the mother of Cosette in his novel 'Les Misérables' (1862). The name was given to her by a passerby who found the young orphan on the street. Hugo may have intended it to be a derivative of the French word enfant "child".
The name "Éponine" derives from the ancient Gaul Epponina, wife of Julius Sabinus, who rebelled against the Roman empire. She "became the symbol of great patriotism and virtue" by protecting her husband for many years and by choosing to die with him when he was finally captured.5 The name was quite common among both Republicans and Bonapartists in post-Revolutionary France. Her sister's name "Azelma" also derives from the name of a loyal wife who dies with her husband, the wife of Abdul-aziz, a north African warrior who fights Napoleon. Hugo explains both names as the product of Mme Thénadier's love of "stupid romances", melodramatic novels on exotic themes with exaggeratedly noble characters. Hugo says such names were typical of the period, when there was "an anarchy of baptismal names" as working-class people increasingly gave their children exotic or grandiose names, while the upper classes intentionally adopted lowly-sounding names.
A real, though not very common, surname from the Haute-Loire region. At first glance it looks like it could be derived from "enjôler," to charm or beguile, but its real root is the Occitan "enjeura," to terrify. A charming youth capable of being terrible…
As you seem aware of, Jean is one of the most basic French names. But aside from these ones, these names are all very unusual. No one had ever been called that way before Hugo's Les Miserables and no one has ever been called that way since (if someone had it was probably an hommage to the book). That being said, these names do sound French, they must have been inspired by French words:
- "enfantin", meaning childish, for Fantine
- "chose", meaning thing, for Cosette
- "ange", "enjeura" or "enjoler" as some else explained for Enjolras
- "grand" (big) and "air" for Grantaire
But also real sonorities you find in French names:
- "-ette" used to be added after a feminine name as a nickname, "Juliette", "Annette" , "Paulette", etc. Those are now names on their own, although they feel a bit old fashioned now (except for Juliette).
- names ending in "-ine" are also common for feminine names, "Pauline", "Marine", "Caroline". So in that sense "Fantine" and "Eponine" do sound plausible even though Hugo probably invented them.
- Javert just sounds like a real French name. The sonority works perfectly well, I don't have any better explanation.
The man who wrote Les Miserables experienced creative successes and personal challenges. Check out some of the highlights from Victor Hugo's long life:
- Born in France during Emperor Napoleon's reign.
- Not just a novelist but one of his country's favorite poets.
- Daughter and son-in-law drowned (prompting lots of tragic poetry).
- Spent almost two decades writing Les Miz.
- Lived in exile for over ten years.
- During later years, elected as a senator.
Our favorite piece of trivia: Victor Hugo supposedly sent the world's shortest telegram when he wanted to know how his novel was selling. He sent a question mark his publisher replied with an exclamation point.
The 20 longest-running West End musicals
A musical playing to the West End is the culmination of many months (and sometimes years) of effort. Even then, London theatre runs can vary in length. To be successful, a musical must have memorable music, a moving story, and compelling characters played by believable actors. And to be a classic, a show must have these elements as well as something extra special to excite and delight audiences.
These 20 top London musicals sustained success for years—some for decades—as they entertained both residents and global visitors performance after performance.
The top 20 longest-running musicals in West End history*
1. Les Misérables
1985 – present (over 13,964 performances)
Les Mis debuted in Paris in September 1980, before arriving in London’s West End on 8 October 1985. Based on Victor Hugo’s novel and set in revolutionary-era France, Les Misérables is the story of former convict Jean Valjean and his quest for redemption.
Its first three-month engagement at Barbican Theatre sold out, and the show has been running continuously in the West End ever since, making it the longest-running musical in the world after The Fantasticks (off-Broadway).
2. The Phantom Of The Opera
1986 – present (over 13,629 performances)
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre in October 1986 and celebrated its 10,000th performance in 2010 and 30th anniversary in 2016.
The story of a deformed musical genius’s obsession with a talented soprano, Phantom has won more than 70 major theatre awards and has been seen by more than 140 million people. It is the longest-running show in Broadway history and the first to reach 10,000 performances in New York.
3. Blood Brothers
1988 – 2012 (10,013 performances)
Originally conceived as a school play, Blood Brothers is a musical about twin brothers who were raised separately but fall in love with the same woman.
It debuted and had a moderately successful but short run in the West End in 1983. A national tour in 1987 reignited interest in the musical, and it returned to the West End in 1988. It ran for more than 24 years before finally closing in November 2012.
1981 – 2002 (8,949 performances)
An Andrew Lloyd Webber-scored musical, Cats is about cats—specifically, a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and their decision as to which cat is to be reborn into a new life.
Cats opened in the West End in 1981 and closed 21 years later in 2002, making it London’s longest-running musical until Les Misérables overtook it in 2006. An updated West End revival of Cats ran from December 2014 through April 2015, then again from October 2015 through January 2016.
5. Mamma Mia!
1999 – present (over 8,498 performances)
Another world premiere that took place in the West End, Mamma Mia! opened 23 March 1999 at the Prince Edward Theatre. It transferred to the Prince of Wales Theatre in June 2004, before moving to the Novello Theatre in September 2012.
This jukebox musical is the story of a young bride seeking her father on a Greek Island, told through the music of Swedish band Abba. It has been seen by over 60 million people in 50 productions in 16 different languages.
6. Disney’s The Lion King
1999 – present (over 8,258 performances)
While many blockbuster musicals are adapted for the big screen, Disney’s The Lion King is a musical that was adapted from a film, specifically the 1994 animated Disney film of the same name.
Like the movie, Disney’s The Lion King follows the Hamlet-inspired story of Simba, a young lion who challenges his murderous uncle for the throne of Pride Lands, and features music by Elton John. The Lion King recently overtook Starlight Express to become the 6th longest-running show in the West End.
7. Starlight Express
1984 – 2001 (7,406 performances)
Performed by actors wearing rollerskates and featuring sets with racetracks extended into and around the audience, the rock musical Starlight Express wowed West End theatregoers for 17 years, finally coming to a halt in 2001.
The story of rival trains battling for supremacy lives on in Germany, where it has been performed continuously since 1988.
(1997 revival production), 1997 – 2012 (6,187 performances)
Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, this musical explores the criminal-as-celebrity theme with its story of two rival nightclub stars-turned-murderers.
It initially opened at the Cambridge Theatre in April 1979 and ran for 600 performances. In November 1997, the revival Chicago: The Musical opened at the Adelphi Theatre where it ran for 9 years before transferring to the Cambridge Theatre in April 2006, running there until September 2012.
After a five year absence, Chicago reopened in the West End at the Phoenix Theatre in early 2018 until 5 January 2019.
2006 – present (5,383 performances)
Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz, an alternative version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz as told from the perspective of Oz’s witches, premiered on Broadway in 2003 and the West End’s Apollo Victoria Theatre in September 2006.
More than 8 million people have seen the London West End production.
10. Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story
1989 – 2003 (5,140 performances)
Considered the first jukebox musical, Buddy is the story of Buddy Holly’s rock ‘n’ roll career, including his years in a country & western band, his efforts as a solo artist, and his untimely death at age 22.
The bio-musical ran in the West End for more than 14 years and continues to play throughout England and at international venues.
11. We Will Rock You
2002 – 2014 (4659 performances)
Featuring songs by Queen, We Will Rock You was originally intended to be a biography about lead singer Freddie Mercury, but ultimately became a fantasy story about resistance against conformity in a dystopian future.
Despite initially harsh critical reviews, the jukebox musical drew approving audiences to the Dominion Theatre and remained popular until it closed in 2014.
12. Billy Elliot The Musical
2005 – 2016 (4,566 performances)
Like The Lion King, Billy Elliot is based on a movie and also features the music of Elton John.
The musical tells the story of a boy’s pursuit of ballet in a town beset by a mining strike. It premiered at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005 and ran through April 2016.
13. Thriller Live
2009 – present (over 4, 365 performances)
More choreographed concert than musical, Thriller Live is a non-stop playlist featuring highlights from Michael Jackson’s 45-year career, from his time with the Jackson 5 to Thriller and beyond.
Originally scheduled from January 2009 to May of the same year, the show run has been extended numerous times and continues to draw Jackson and pop fans to London’s Lyric Theatre.
14. Miss Saigon
1989 – 1999 (4,264 performances)
This retelling of Madame Butterfly takes place during the Vietnam War and portrays the doomed relationship between an American G.I. and his Vietnamese girlfriend.
Miss Saigon ran for 10 years at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane before closing in 1999, but returned to the West End in 2014 for a 760-performance revival run that included a 25th-anniversary performance. The revival closed in 2016.
15. Jersey Boys
2008 – 2017 (3,787 performances)
The jukebox musical Jersey Boys played the West End for nine years at Prince Edward Theatre, before moving to the Piccadilly Theatre in 2017.
Presented as a documentary dramatising the career arc of 1960s rock ‘n’ roll group The Four Seasons, Jersey Boys features well-known hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Sherry,” among others.
16. Jesus Christ Superstar
1972 – 1980 (3,357 performances)
Loosely based on the last week of Jesus’s life according to the Gospels, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar first opened on Broadway in 1971, closing two years later.
The show thrived in London, though, playing for eight years at the Palace Theatre and becoming the UK’s longest-running musical at the time. The musical was revived at the Lyceum Theatre in 1996 and ran for a year and a half, then returned again in 2016 and 2017 at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, a production which won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.
17. Matilda The Musical
2011 – present (over 3,304 performances in the West End)
The beloved Tim Minchin and Royal Shakespeare Company musical announced its arrival in the West End with a record-breaking (at the time) seven Olivier Award wins in 2012.
The story of a child with an incredible talent for learning – and getting her own back on her cruel parents and tyrannical headmistress – the stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story started life at the RSC’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2010, making the move to London in 2011. Since then, it’s delighted theatregoers in their droves, reminding us all that, “Sometimes, you have to be a little bit naughty!”
18. Me And My Girl
1985 – 1993 (3,303 performances)
This musical is set in the 1930s and tells the story of Bill Snibson, an unapologetically unrefined cockney man who learns he is the heir to the Earl of Hareford.
Me And My Girl had a successful original run in the West End in 1937, playing for 1,646 performances. It was revived in 1941, 1945, and again in 1949. A revised production opened in 1984 at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre and transferred to the Adelphi Theatre in 1985 where it played for eight years before closing.
1978 – 1986 (2,900 performances)
Another successful Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice production, Evita follows the life of Eva “Evita” Perón, the Argentine actor who became the country’s First Lady and a popular political leader.
The production opened in the West End in 1978 and on Broadway a year later, becoming the first British musical to win the Best Musical Tony Award. Its original run went until 1986 and it was revived twenty years later (2006) at the Adelphi Theatre.
20. Book Of Mormon
2013 – present (2,650 performances)
Written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez, The Book Of Mormon is a satirical musical that takes shots at everything from organised religion to consumerism, the state of the economy and the musical theatre genre itself.
After nearly seven years of development, their musical opened to sold-out audiences on Broadway, before transferring to Prince Of Wales Theatre in London. The show went onto win four Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical.
*Information supplied to Society of London Theatre, correct as of 5 July 2019. Ranked by number of performances.
You can see tickets for all current West End shows here.
Meet the 10-Year-Old Face of ‘Les Miserables’
Though her name isn’t featured in any of the film’s promotional materials, Isabelle Allen is quickly becoming a recognizable face in Hollywood.
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As Universal touts the release of Les Miserables, boasting a roster of A-list names including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried, there is one key player whose name no one seems to know.
It seems everyone in Hollywood does, however, know Isabelle Allen&rsquos face. The blond-haired girl with striking blue eyes is featured on several billboards and promotional ads as part of a worldwide ad campaign, in an homage to the iconic Les Miserables logo first created by Russ Eglin in 1985 for the London stage production.
In a 1992 interview with Desert News, Eglin said that the Cosette logo was adapted from French illustrator Emile Bayard‘s original engraving from the first edition of Victor Hugo‘s novel. “The album sleeve had Cosette as a full-length figure holding one of those twig brooms. She looked too much like Cinderella not going to the ball,” he said, explaining that he chose to instead focus on her face. “It’s a powerful image,” he added. “The face is very appealing.”
And while Allen’s face is plastered across the background of IMDb (and included as the film’s main image), the young thesp’s name was ranked 61 — after “Convicts 1-5,” “Innkeeper,” “Jailer,” “Factory Woman 1-9,” “Pimp,” “Head Whore,” “Organ Grinder” and many more — on the site’s film credits at the time of publication. As for those billboards and posters that can currently be spotted coast-to-coast, her name is rarely — if ever — included alongside her co-stars.
So who is the little girl that nabbed the coveted role of young Cosette?
According to a bio provided to The Hollywood Reporter by Universal, Allen was discovered by Jeremy James Taylor, head of the National Youth Music Theatre, who directed her in a school play (The Pied Piper, in which she played the male lead) in her hometown of Eastbourne, East Sussex. Taylor was so impressed with the 10-year-old that he asked talent agent Gaynor Shaw to meet with Allen and consider representing her. Ultimately, it was Shaw who brought Allen to Les Mis casting director Nina Gold. The rest, as they say, is history.
On Monday, Allen stepped out at the premiere of Les Mis at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City with her mother by her side. “Most of my friends like acting, so they&rsquore going to be really excited,” she told THR of her impending return to England.
During her stay in the Big Apple, Isabelle stopped by the American Girl store, where she purchased a doll, as well as the famed FAO Schwartz toy store.
In the Tom Hooper-directed musical adaptation, Allen plays the illegitimate daughter of Hathaway’s Fantine. As Cosette grows older, she is played by Seyfried. “We&rsquore e-mail buddies now,” the 27-year-old actress says of Allen, with whom she shared no scenes. “It&rsquos so wonderful to watch somebody come into this world so bright-eyed, and she&rsquos really taking it well. It&rsquos a zoo, and she represents our movie, and I couldn&rsquot imagine anybody else. She&rsquos the perfect poster child for Les Mis.”
While Les Mis is Allen’s first professional engagement, she is bound to catch the eye of casting agents on both sides of the pond. At the time of publication, no future projects had been solidified and e-mails to Shaw went unreturned. But Allen did say that she will “hopefully” continue working in the industry. For now, Allen is committed to playing young Cosette in London’s West End stage production of Les Mis through March.
Asked what it was like working with such legendary actors in her first big-screen role, Allen — joined by Daniel Huttlestone, who plays the young Gavroche — said: “They gave us lots of tips and mostly [made] sure we were all OK. They were really nice.”
FRENCH GIRL NAMES AMERICANS KNOW
The French form of Amelia, Amelie sounds a little closer to another American chart-topper, Emily. 2001 movie Amelie brought it to American parents’ attention, and it has ranked in the US Top 1000 since 2003.
Discovered in the US in the 1960s, Angelique recently left the US Top 1000. It tracks with our adoption of the English form of the name: Angelica.
Bernadette is in the early stages of a comeback. While masculine form Bernard is all German, Bernadette is the French feminine form. The image is reinforced by Bernadette Soubirous, the young woman whose visions at Lourdes became famous.
Brigitte sounds French, and controversial screen legend Brigitte Bardot reinforces that image.
It’s the name Alexandre Dumas, fils, gave to a courtesan with a heart of gold in his 1848 novel. Greta Garbo played the part in a 1936 movie adaptation, earning an Oscar nomination. Camila ranks in the Top 20, but Camille also appears in the Top 1000.
Cecilia is popular in the US right now, but it’s far from the only form of the name. Trim and tailored Cecile is the French form.
Heavenly Celeste has always appeared in the Top 1000, but it’s never been especially popular.
A Top Ten favorite, Charlotte is heard the world over thanks to a fictional spider in a classic American children’s story, and a British princess. Despite this, Charlotte clearly evolved from the French pronunciation of Charles.
Claire comes from the Latin clarus – clear and bright. Chaira Offreduccio became an early follower of St. Francis, and she’s a saint in her own right, too. The Italian Chiara became Clara in Latin, Clare in English, and Claire in French – though Clara, Clare, and Claire all appear in the current US Top 1000.
Add an -ette to Nicole, and it becomes Nicolette. Drop the first syllable, and you’ll arrive at Colette. Impeccably French, but easily spelled and pronounced in English, Colette feels familiar, but not too common.
A favorite in the 1990s, Gabrielle is the French feminine form of the Hebrew Gabriel – God is my strength.
The patron saint of Paris, Genevieve is pronounced very different in French than in English. But it’s broadly familiar in the US, and Saint Genevieve is famous for protecting the city of Paris from an invading army in the fifth century.
The ballet Giselle makes it more popular, as does supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and Amy Adams’ character in Disney live action princess pic Enchanted. In France, it’s more commonly spelled Gisèle.
We love a good Lou name, and Louise – the French feminine form of Louis – is among the most classic.
Lucille feels thoroughly American, thanks to the comic genius of Lucille Ball. But Lucille is a French form of the enduring and Latin Lucia.
Josephine combines the romance of the French Empire with a healthy dose of jazz age swing.
The name brings to mind Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, but -ette is also a favorite in French.
MADELEINE and MADELINE
The most popular spelling of this name as of 2018 is Madelyn. But the more authentically French versions, Madeline and Madeleine, are heard in the US, too. The children’s storybook character spells it ending with -line.
Among the most classic of girl names, Margaret belongs to saints and queens. The same is true for the French form, Marguerite. While it’s familiar in the US, it’s seldom heard.
Strange but true: name your daughter Mary today, and she may never meet another girl her age with the name. That’s even more true for the French form, Marie.
MARION and MARIANNE
Marion emerged as a Marie nickname in the Middle Ages, in France as well as England. Marianne also claims French roots. But Marianne makes this list especially because it’s the name given to the female figure serving as a symbol of the French Republic.
A Rose name with French roots.
The French feminine form of Simon feels sleek and sophisticated. It’s also musical, thanks to Nina Simone.
Sylvia peaked in the US In the 1930s, and while it’s still used, it’s faded quite a bit from those heights. French Sylvie feels fresher and more stylish today.
The French form of Theresa, which comes from a Greek name meaning harvest. Saint Therese likely inspired some parents to choose the name.
Ever since the youngest Jolie-Pitt daughter arrived in 2008, parents have considered Vivienne. It’s still far less popular than the English Vivian, but a number of high profile birth announcements have kept it in the spotlight.
Listen to Understand, Not to Speak
There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless. 
Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It&rsquos a no-brainer.
Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn&rsquot mean you actually understood it.
We take this for granted daily, but that doesn&rsquot mean we can use that as an excuse.
Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.
A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn&rsquot necessarily bad.
The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren&rsquot always that important. The brain doesn&rsquot&mdashand shouldn&rsquot&mdashcare what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.
Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain&rsquos emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.  And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.
Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer&mdashliterally and figuratively.
Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!
10 Reasons 19th Century Paris Was As Miserable As Les Mis
By now you&rsquove probably either seen the movie, watched the play or read the book Les Miserables , Victor Hugo&rsquos classic tale of life in nineteenth century Paris. But have you ever wondered if life in Paris at that time really was as miserable as the movie depicts? Here are ten reasons why it was even worse:
Opportunities for lower class women to move ahead were few and far between, to say the least. The world was most certainly not their oyster: among their few career options were the roles of domestic servant, seamstress, laundress&mdashand when all else failed, prostitute. And each occupation brought with it a distinct set of challenges.
Prostitutes were of course viewed as the lowest of all, and they often suffered from police persecution. But even more shocking than that was the fact that many women were actually falsely accused of prostitution. Many such women were domestic servants, accused by the wives of the families they worked for after being seduced by the husbands.
Women were also regularly charged with slander and public drunkenness. Neither crime is gender-specific&mdashbut only in women was the behavior deemed criminal.
Children were abandoned on a fairly regular basis. The lucky ones were dropped off at state-run hospices, where they usually remained until they turned twenty-five. At the hospices the children were given the basic necessities: food, clothing and shelter. No education was provided&mdashand due to severe overcrowding, very little attention was paid to each child.
The even unluckier children were forced to live on the streets and fend for themselves. In these cases, children turned to begging and thievery in order to survive.
If they were (arguably) a little luckier, they would be taken in by strangers&mdashmuch like Cosette in Les Mis &mdash in which case they would often be forced to perform heavy labor. They were usually given minimal food and shelter, and would be mistreated or neglected on a regular basis. But the unluckiest children of all were forced to turn to:
Child prostitution was rampant in nineteenth century Paris. The young girls&mdashusually pre-pubescent&mdashwere forced into sexual encounters by men of the upper classes, and were usually paid as little as a single franc. Usually the act was consummated in a back alley or under a bridge. Sometimes a room in the girl&rsquos own house might suffice.
Some legitimate businesses served as fronts for prostitution they would send children to wealthy homes as &ldquodeliveries.&rdquo If a girl was old enough to be impregnated by the client, her family would in many cases throw her onto the streets for bringing shame upon the family. Left destitute and alone, the girl would then become a full-time streetwalker.
They might have been the most hard-working, God-fearing people in Paris&mdashbut according to the upper classes, the poor and huddled masses were dangerous and despicable.
Crime was admittedly everywhere in nineteenth century Paris, and real criminals were certainly dangerous. This caused grave problems for the many poor people who were not criminals, since the upper class viewed them all&mdashinnocent workmen like Jean Valjean included&mdashas the &ldquodangerous class,&rdquo to be held in contempt and ridicule.
Even though women were pretty much stuck where they were, it seems that men had it no better.
Parisian men&mdashespecially unskilled laborers&mdashsuffered high rates of mortality due to accidents on shipping docks, in workshops and on construction sites. Along with these dangerous work conditions, men had to contend with dangerous rivalries between workers from different regions in France. If for example a worker from Saint Georges happened to find himself working on the same construction site as a worker from Montparnasse, the result could be a deadly.
Many men were also forced into military service. Those few who survived for long would be prevented from marrying while they served by poor pay and strict army regulations.
The poor of nineteenth century Paris were concentrated in the ancient center of the city, where the buildings were in a state of disrepair and families of six to ten people lived in one-room apartments. These apartments had no running water and no indoor plumbing&mdashand the nearest restroom was often on the streets outside.
In the outskirts of Paris, families would often share huts with their livestock. The family and livestock used the same entrance to the hut, but were divided by a partition that separated the animals from a room that served as both the kitchen and bedroom. A loft that hung above the kitchen was used to dry out the animal feed. The feed would be spread across a plank floor, meaning that bits of seed and straw would frequently drop down onto the kitchen table where the family ate their meals.
Since there was no indoor plumbing in many of the homes, the smell of raw sewage was absolutely everywhere: whether you were rich or poor, you&rsquod struggle to escape the foul stench.
The sewage smell was made spicier by inescapable body odors, for it was often too cold or too inconvenient to bathe. On the rare occasions when people did bathe, they used low tubs filled with only a few inches of water&mdashwhich wasn&rsquot exactly the best remedy for the thick layers of slime clogging their pores.
With all the raw sewage that Paris had to contend with, it was only a matter of time before cholera hit the city hard.
Doctors found it difficult to diagnose the disease. The symptoms included everything from high fevers to chest pains and vomiting to headaches, and the disease could leave its victims bedridden in a matter of hours. The cholera epidemic of 1832 lasted six months, and resulted in 19,000 deaths.
Death was everywhere&mdashand for many Parisians, death was something to be embraced rather than feared. In fact, what would be considered morbid today merely piqued the curiosity of many Parisians, who relished the most frightening tales of slaughter as much as they enjoyed the gruesome spectacle. In no instance is this more apparent than the popularity of the Paris Morgue.
Built in 1864, the Paris Morgue was the place where the bodies of the unidentified dead&mdashmany of them suicide cases&mdashwere displayed on marble slabs for friends or family to identify. The morgue soon became a fixture for Parisians, with tens or even hundreds of people shuffling into the room to gawk at the dead and gossip over their cause of death.
This entry may not strictly apply to the nineteenth century, but its repercussions were certainly felt throughout that period (and in Les Mis ), and it seemed too gruesome to leave off the list. The Reign of Terror took place between June 1793 and July 1794, as French revolutionaries struggled to secure their power after the overthrow of the monarchy. Paris was thrown into chaos, and the new government into a state of utter paranoia.
After King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were executed in 1793, Maximilien Robespierre rose to become one of the most powerful and feared men in the country. Under his dreadful rule, thousands of citizens&rsquo heads were chopped off at the guillotine&mdashmany of them without trials, or even explanations.
Commoners, intellectuals, politicians and prostitutes&mdashnobody was safe from the Terror. A mere suspicion of &ldquocrimes against liberty&rdquo was enough to earn one an appointment with Madame Guillotine , also called The National Razor . The final death toll for this most miserable of periods is thought to have been between 16,000 and 40,000.
Les Misérables discussion
/> Many people think that Grantaire and Enjolras like each other as more than friends. I think that there is some minor implication of it, but not enough to go around raving about how they "should totally be a couple" like some readers do. I found the fact that they died together a powerful demonstration of their bond either way and it is clear that Grantaire admires Enjolras greatly, but is this enough to claim romantic attraction between the two? What are your thoughts?
To be polite, there is no trace of intelligence in the brains of those readers who claim that there is a "romantic attraction" between Grantaire and Enjolras.
(Digression: It is an example to show that homosexual trending, supporting, advertising, patronising etc. are hazardous to Mankind.)
In my opinion, Grantaire's philosophy was similar to nihilism, he negated everything and believed in nothing. He adored Enjolras as dogs look towards their owners, as medieval knights loved their ladies, as believers worship their God(s).
Enjolras, on the other hand, was extremely aggressive, a far-left republican. If I remember correctly, he DID have a mistress and during the insurgency he bethought himself of his mistress, didn't he? So, Could anyone give me a lucid explanation of his behaviour?
They died together didn't mean they were homosexual. (I don't know how people can come into this imagination.) In the battlefield, soldiers fight and die in the hands of their comrades, but did that justify they are homosexual?
I didn't think in the book they were portrayed as having any kind of close relationship, but the way they are portrayed in the 2012 film I think shows a very close friendship - more so than the book in my opinion.
@Tirzah: I have checked and confess that I'm a fool on the matter of Enjolras' mistress.
/> There is a part where Enjolras mentions that his mistress is "Patria," which is a metaphor for his dedication to the republic.
/> I didn't make this clear in my previous post, but my thoughts on the matter were more of a "wouldn't that make an interesting twist?" after I read the line about Enjolras being Grantaire's one dogma and that he loved and admired him. Since I'm a teenager my mind did briefly go there, though I didn't put a whole lot of stock into it. I recently saw in an online article that George Blagden, who plays Grantaire in the new movie, thinks that his character is attracted to Enjolras. Also, when Hadley Frasier and Ramin Karimloo played the roles, they portrayed them with a similar angle. This got me thinking about it a little more.
/> I think it's obvious Enjolras isn't interested in Grantaire romantically, Hugo makes it pretty clear that he doesn't have much time for Grantaire due to his light treatment of their cause and nihilistic views. His passion is for his country and their cause, and he doesn't seem to have room to love anything else! Again as Lauren said, his mistress was 'Patria'.
On the other hand though, I don't think it's a stretch to say Grantaire has feelings for Enjolras. He obviously loves and admires him for his belief and leadership and idolises him in that regard. As Hugo says, Enjolras is the sole reason Grantaire is one of the Friends. I think there are some hints that his feelings went beyond that though, for example in the original description of their relationship Hugo compares them to Achilles and Patroclus. Also, for someone as nihilistic as Grantaire, I think it would take a lot for him to give up his life for a cause as he did, perhaps something more than admiration?
So I do think the people who read into the relationship aren't being overly imaginative!Though the master/dog relationship would also fit as Pndasmile suggested. Either way though, I feel it doesn't overly change their relationship, Enjolras being as he is, and their deaths are always going to be a fantastic illustration of the strength of belief and friendship.
/> I just wanted to make a comment. Two guys who are "more than just friends" don't have to be attracted to each other in a sexual way. Ever heard of a "bromance"? That's just another term for "bosom buddies." Guys in a "bromance" are fully heterosexual--they just share an unusually close bond, like David and Jonathan in the Bible.
As for Grantaire and Enjolras, I personally found it difficult to care about any of the members of the ABC Society for the most part. :)
/> IIRC most of the time Enjolras's principal feelings towards Grantaire were exasperation and irritation, neither of which is a good basis for claiming a romantic relationship. There is a moment before they die but I read that more as an expression of great understanding of each other's motives for their actions rather than they're in love with each other.
Mike - David and Jonathan in the Bible were homosexual lover's but over the centuries the story has been supressed and lost in all the translations. Duh. Didn't you know?
/> I personally think that Grantaire was in love with Enjolras and that Enjolras's was either a late bloomer or asexual, and he definitley was fond of Grantaire but not in that kind of way. Hugo mentions how Enjolras had virgin lips, that the only 2 kisses he bestowed in his life were to the 80 year old hero of the barricade.
But also that he had a mistress. One must assume that he spent time with this women in a none sexual way if his lips were virgin, probably he enjoyed her company or something like that
So in short, it's a one way relationship that makes me very :(.
Enjolras was probably asexual, "chaste" like Hugo said, completely uninterested of sex. Grantaire "loved" Enjolras, who didn´t like this badly behaving drunk - except "lofty pity" - before in the end. I find their dynamic fascinating.
Pndasmile wrote: "To be polite, there is no trace of intelligence in the brains of those readers who claim that there is a "romantic attraction" between Grantaire and Enjolras.
(Digression: It is an example to show. "
Way to go with insulting people. Enjolras never had a mistress. He did say his mistress was Patria, a.k.a. France. And Victor Hugo did compare both Enjolras and Grantaire to several homosexual classical figures, call them the obverse of one another, inseperable, and two sides of the same coin, along with stating Grantaire admired, loved and venerated Enjolras. It's not their death scene. It's that and every other interaction in the book.
/> I think Grantaire's fancy of Enjolras (as others have said) is more of a 'hero worship'. It went FAR beyond sexuality. It was a true "love" not a lust.
Enjolras was written asexually but it doesn't mean he was asexual. Could have been (in my dreams he is because I am, too and I like the thought of being able to adore someone and them not think I want to puruse them sexually) but just because his sexuality wasn't mentioned at all just means it really wasn't important to the story. It's like they didn't mention he went to the toilet and ate meals either - it just wasn't important in the long run.
I like the 'mystery' of Grantaire and Enjolras. I know the fan fiction clubs have had a field day with it and if that's what they want, have fun. I just hope they don't overtake the mystery and that become the accepted.
Pndasmile wrote: "To be polite, there is no trace of intelligence in the brains of those readers who claim that there is a "romantic attraction" between Grantaire and Enjolras.
(Digression: It is an example to show. "
Lord Almighty at your "the gays are hazardous to mankind."
Pushing that aside, Enjolras and Grantaire, especially Grantaire, being read as queer is a legitimate interpretation, just as Dorian Gray being read as queer is.
Enjolras was not interested in women, but regardless of that there's the allusions of homosexual Greek figures, Grantaire's love for Enjolras, Grantaire as an artist (artist was a word commonly used for homosexual in this period), etc. I think it's definitely fair to believe Hugo meant their dynamic to be homoromantic.
Also, you realize Patria is France. Enjolras does not have a mistress.
Pndasmile wrote: "To be polite, there is no trace of intelligence in the brains of those readers who claim that there is a "romantic attraction" between Grantaire and Enjolras.
(Digression: It is an example to show. "
Wow, you're right: this was so polite I almost took it as a compliment.
Not only are you being unnecessarily rude in insulting a (fairly significant, you'll be sorry to hear) proportion of readers, you are also being arrogant and egotistical in suggesting that any interpretation of the text other than your own is not even worth consideration.
The theories of those readers to whose intelligence, or supposed lack thereof, you so "politely" referred are in fact very valid and well-founded. I would like you to consider that Grantaire "admired, loved and venerated Enjolras", and clings to him--not, unlike, perhaps, some of the other Amis, for his ideals and political values, but for the person he is--"as to a spinal column" that Hugo describes Grantaire's relationship to Enjolras with references to numerous pairs of male lovers from mythology and history. Consider also that despite his apparent disdain towards Grantaire, Enjolras does not turn him away from their meetings: he does not hate Grantaire he wants him to reach his potential, to pull himself up and to soar alongside him, because he knows that he could. Enjolras never gives up on him or kicks him out, even though Grantaire seems to be the only person who causes him to truly lose his well-controlled temper. His feelings towards Grantaire are certainly not dismissive or indifferent.
Now consider their deaths: Grantaire has gone to the barricade and remained there, despite not believing in the ideals they are representing. When he wakes up, he could easily have tried to remain unnoticed and potentially survived, yet he decides he would rather die by Enjolras' side. Enjolras is glad--one might almost say proud--of the way Grantaire eventually fulfills Enjolras' hopes for him, proving himself "worthy" of Enjolras' attentions, and he therefore chooses to use his last moments to smile at Grantaire and take his hand.
Enjolras chooses. To die. Holding Grantaire's hand.
In case that wasn't clear for you.
I am not saying "Enjolras and Grantaire were in love and you are wrong." I am simply saying that Hugo includes some very deliberate homoerotic subtext in writing these characters and their relationship to each other, and that those who choose to see it as evidence of an attraction between them are very well-founded in doing so. You are free to interpret the text how you like! but grant the same privilege to your fellow readers.
(P.S. As other commenters have pointed out, yes, Enjolras naming Patria as his "mistress" refers to his devotion to his country. Also, when Enjolras places a kiss on the forehead of M. Mabeuf, we are told this is the first kiss he has ever given in his life.)
James wrote: "@Tama - . Every reader may interpret the text as he finds it, but I would urge readers to consider multiple interpretations rather than to fix upon one. -
Of course! That's the best part about things being ambiguous: that you can try out different interpretations, different theories, look at it from a different perspective each time, etc.
Again, I was not arguing that there is no question of there being romantic implications. I simply took offence to the way Pndasmile insulted a large proportion of fans, myself included, and stated they had no basis for their opinion, which is simply not true. :)
James wrote: "@Tama - Male friendships were idealized by the Romantics and they talked about these relationships in terms that strike a 21st century reader as homoerotic or something more than mere friendship - . "
Hugo describing a homosexual relationship in other than explicit terms is more interesting than "the Romantics had an understanding about male friendships that is different thans ours" because there is an extreme lack of queer inclusion in media whereas same sex friendship is abundant.
Manning wrote: Hugo describing a homosexual relationship in other than explicit terms is more interesting than "the Romantics had an understanding about male friendships that is different thans ours" because there is an extreme lack of queer inclusion in media whereas same sex friendship is abundant.
Yes this! Besides that, "male friendships" is hardly some complex social construct that requires an "understanding". Certainly, in the past, relationships may have been viewed differently, but that doesn't mean they necessarily were.
And besides that, if you're trying to say Enjolras and Grantaire fit into this "are they just friends or something more" dynamic, it. really doesn't work.
(PS @Manning do I recognise you from tumblr. )
/> For this discussion i think we must separate the feelings of Enjorlas towards Grantaire from the vice versa an look at them individually.
Enjorlas has no mistress. "Patria" was a reference to his cause which he is completely devoted to. He is asexual, he only loves his cause. Grantaire is a nonbeliever, the reason he never kicked him out and showed him such kindness was because Enjorlas felt himself a missionary, trying to convert Grantaire to his political religion. When they were about to die he took Grantaire's hand because the fact that even a nonbeliever was willing to fight proved to Enjorlas that their cause was justified.
Grantaire may or may not have been homosexual, depends on how one interprets the book. personally i got the feeling that he was from the way he worshiped Enjorlas. French romantic novelists in that time wrote about homosexuality (Danglar's daughter Eugenie in The Count of Monte Cristo for example) so it would not be surprising if that was Hugo's original meaning.
Jess took the words right out of my mouth. Enjolras is referred to as a well-known homosexual from the classical era, though I can't remember his name. Also both Grantaire and Enjolras are likened to Pylades and Orestes, homosexual lovers from Greek mythology. Though there may have not been any actual evidence in the novel towards a love affair between the two (since Enjolras so vehemently abhors Grantaire until their deaths), these two allusions to other classical characters points to homosexual tendencies. And as for Pndasmile saying those who think there may be an affection for each other doesn't have any brains in their heads in beyond rude. Obviously, if one researches the names Grantaire and Enjolras are likened to, they must have some sort of brain and intelligence since they decide to look into the deeper meaning of Hugo's allusions.
Oh, and by the way, if you're going to state a fact, such as Enjolras's mistress, do your own research about who Patria is. Because it's not a woman. It's an ideal. How about that for brains?
Tara wrote: "Jess took the words right out of my mouth. Enjolras is referred to as a well-known homosexual from the classical era, though I can't remember his name."
Assuming you are referring to Antinous (lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian) :)
/> My opinion is that Grantaire was in love with him. Hugo writes that Enjolras's mistress was 'Patria' (France) and that 'He did not seem to know that there was on the earth a being called woman'. But Grantaire is deeply in love with him, and you see that by how he watches him and how he answers to his questions.
Grantaire proves him his love the day of their death. I think it's beautiful.
People, Enjolras's mistress was Patria,Patria is France. So unless if France suddenly became a real women he does not have a real mistress. It refers to France as his mistress to show his dedication and love for his country. Also, I believe Enjolras and Grantaire have a beautifully tragic relationship that with more time could have become romantic if they had survived that day at the barricade. Especially if after Grantaire had gone up there fully prepared to die with him and somehow someone else survived and shot the squad that was about to kill them. (I might make that story now..) The point is, they would be a beautiful couple if given the chance and that it is obvious Grantaire was in love with Enjolras.
Pamela wrote: "People, Enjolras's mistress was Patria,Patria is France. So unless if France suddenly became a real women he does not have a real mistress. It refers to France as his mistress to show his dedicatio. "
We already established the point about Patria. :)
I can't say I'd afree they would have been "a beautiful couple if given the chance" their personalities put them at odds, as demonstrated by. well, every mention of them in the book, bar OF&PD. Unless both of them, but especially Grantaire, modified themselves a lot post-"not-death", not much would have changed, I think.
OK, my musings:
Hugo wrote sympathetic characters having sex outside marriage - even polyamorous trio Joly and Bossuet with same mistress Musichetta! - but he had special thing for virgins. They are Purest - Marius, Cosette, Enjolras. Like Cosette is not so much a young girl than a symbol of hope for bullied, oppressed and tortured, Enjolras is not so much a real young man but a symbol of Republic ideal: beautiful and pure, enemy of poverty and injustice. Enjolras´ is compared - at least partly because of his looks - to Antinous, handsome young lover of Roman Emperor Hadrianus (or Hadrian in English), who was deified after his death: "He was angelically handsome. He was savage Antinous." Enjolras is also compared to other ancient god, Apollo.
Enjolras doesn´t seem to notice that there was women on Earth - NOT because women or love were unclean but because he was so driven by Republic he was even compared to Greek figure Harmodus who attacked tyrant he is rejecting flowers (symbol of love) and "bare bosom" of Evadne.
Enjolras life was tied with Grantaire who "admired, loved, and venerated Enjolras". According to Hugo: "One might almost say that affinities begin with the letters of the alphabet. In the series O and P are inseparable. You can, at will, pronounce O and P or Orestes and Pylades." It is 19th century tradition of Romantic friendship (idea of love without sex) and although Enjolras rejected R at first, Enjolras accepts him in the end.
Note: Homosexuality was legal in 19th century France and writing queer characters was happened long before Les Misérables.
/> Gothicromantic wrote: " "One might almost say that affinities begin with the letters of the alphabet. In the series O and P are inseparable. You can, at will, pronounce O and P or Orestes and Pylades." It is 19th century tradition of Romantic friendship (idea of love without sex) and although Enjolras rejected R at first, Enjolras accepts him in the end. "
Can't have an OTP with out an O and a P. )
But, in all seriousness, I don't think that homosexuality would cheapen their relationship. If anything, I think it would add another dimension to it. Reading it without slash-goggles I still felt that there was more to their relationship that was stated explicitly in the text.
Sebastian wrote: "Gothicromantic wrote: " "One might almost say that affinities begin with the letters of the alphabet. In the series O and P are inseparable. You can, at will, pronounce O and P or Orestes and Pylad. "
Actually, I find their book dynamic fascinating and also homoromantic. Too bad there is not any interesting fanfiction about this two! (I am all for fans having fun with their fandom but E/R fanfiction. does not work for me.)
I agree with @Gothicromantic when s/he says that Enjolras is almost more of a symbol than a real person in the dynamic of the book: he is the spirit, the "logic" of the revolution, a man almost one-dimensionally devoted to his cause, to his people, to his country (Patria ) ). The aspect in which is is mostly considered is this burning devotion that accompanies him to his death, and the characters that are associated to him (directly, before Grantaire is introduced) are characteristically revolutionary figure, Saint Just and Graccus. Saint Just in particular is repeatedly compared to him, and even if Hugo probably had a romantic view of his character, he was Robespierre's right hand, the youngest of the pack of Jacobins during the French Revolution, and one of the fiercest supporters of the Terror: a person usually defined as handsome, hard, ambitious, austere to the point of cruelty. Enjolras is inspired by the great, romanticized figures of the French Revolution, Robespierre "The Incorruptible", Saint Just, the young devoted. Such figures were known to be undaunted by any form of "earthly" distraction, individual love first of all. If you look at his behaviour during the book, Enjolras doesn't show any love for anyone, except his cause, his country and his people. Even when considered together with his friends, we don't really get to see any real display of affection from his side (I'm not implying of course that he didn't love them all, since the best part of his character is that much is left to our imagination, but there's not an actual scene in which he actively shows love).
As far as his relationship with Grantaire goes, Hugo tells us that "Enjolras, croyant, dédegnait ce sceptique, et, sobre, cet ivrogne. Il lui accordait un peu de pitié hautaine". From what we can get of his character from the book, he doesn't love Grantaire, he comes close to despising him because of what he is, or pretends to be. He doesn't hold back from actually hurting him when he could, hitting exactly where it would hurt the most, when he cries at him "Grantaire, tu es incapable de croire, de penser, de vouloir, de vivre et de mourir". He only shows some humanity toward Grantaire when he actually takes a stand next to him, when he decides to actually take a side in his fight and adhere more to his idea of a fighter, of a person.
My impression from Hugo (which is not the mental image that I have of Enjolras, but still) is that Enjolras is a person so consumed from his ideal love for abstract concepts like Freedom, The People, Equality, Patria and so on that he comes close to neglect or even despise everything that is not actively related to, or working in favour of, these concepts.
On the other hand, Grantaire is a person called out since the beginning for his incapability to believe and his need to love. He is the perfect opposite of Enjolras, a person incapable of idealistic sentiments but very much capable of any sort of earthly love (alcohol, women. ). That he loves Enjolras, I think is beyond doubt. It is continuously reaffirmed throughout the book that he adores Enjolras, he stays there only for Enjolras, he is the one that appreciate the most his passion, his focus, his character in general. As Hugo says, it's not uncommon to find a cynic helplessly attached to the passion of a devoted, it's almost natural. Devotees can give a cynic back some of his trust in the world, something among the lines of "if people like them are possible. ".
I can't say whether Grantaire was sexually attached to Enjolras or not. It's possible. But I don't think that, even if he did, he would ever consider it possible, or even just noticeable: he puts Enjolras on too high a pedestal for that. Grantaire "needs" Enjolras because he restores his faith in the world, he brings some of his passion for life back, he gives him a reason to believe that something is still possible.
As for their deaths, partly it is symbolic (even the cynics can't stay out of a fight for some high ideal or something like this), and partly is their reconciliation: Grantaire, as a nihilist, doesn't have a reason on his own to go on, while he can have "a beautiful death" next to the last person capable to have him feeling something Enjolras, as a believer, prefers to die alongside a person who believed in him and potentially in what he did, a person that can potentially symbolize all of those that had not participated the struggle but still decided to face its consequences.
In the end, Enjolras dies for his ideals and Grantaire dies for Enjolras. Enjolras stays upright against the wall and Grantaire stays at Enjolras' feet. They both represent two things worth dying for, ideals and love.
I think that their dynamic is beautiful, even if maybe a bit too one-sided for my liking. I'm not sure Enjolras would ever have gone to "like" Grantaire as he was (I like to think they would have sorted it out, but I'm not really sure they would), but I like the way their relationship is portrayed in the musical and in the movie - it makes Enjolras "real", more human, and therefore more "likable" in a sense, and I still think that they would have made great sparring friends, if any.
To me, it is clear that Grantaire has more than friendly feelings towards Enjolras. Even though throughout the story, examples of his admiration and veneration of Enjolras are demonstrated, I feel that the primary example of the depth of his feelings are found in the death scene. Grantaire is sleeping, passed out drunk and awakens shortly before Enjolras was to be executed by the National Guard soldiers. I feel that although it would've been sad, and even cowardly, Grantaire could've stayed silent, and could've found a way to escape the carnage. However, instead, he rises up and declares, "Vive le Rupublique!" I found this very intereseting, seeing as Grantaire held no stock in this cause. He, the cynic, did not believe in anything. It is one thing to admire Enjolras and think of him in a godly manner, but it is an entirely different thing to willingly go to his death to be by his side when the guns sounded. This, to me, proved that the reltionship there had much more than Hugo made obvious. I mean, Grantaire dies for somethign he doesn't even care about at all, but he dies to be with Enjolras. Enjolras never gives any signs of seeing Grantaire as more than a drunken cynic, which caused me to think more about if the relationship was one sided. However, at the end, when Grantaire asks, "do you permit it?" Enjolras takes his hand with a smile. This is very subtle, and it may mean nothing at all, but I feel like this implied a deeper relationship than Hugo had let on.
I am also a hopeless romantic, so in my mind that's how I wanted it to be. There are defintely arguements for them having no relationship at all, and there are some for a one sided relationship as well. In my heart, I would like to believe that there was something there. If only we could as Hugo himself. This question will probably plague me for the rest of my life I'm crazy about Les Miserables.
Megan wrote: "To me, it is clear that Grantaire has more than friendly feelings towards Enjolras. Even though throughout the story, examples of his admiration and veneration of Enjolras are demonstrated, I feel . "
I too find their relationship intriguing. I think it was one-sided till the end, and I like to think that they ended together in Heaven. :)
Back in the 1800s when Les Miserables was written, homosexuality was a very "taboo" subject. Hugo could not advocate it. His book would have been banned. It is my personal opinion that Grantaire and Enjolras were more like brothers.
Oh, I don´t think Hugo advocated homosexuality, although homosexuality was not unknown in 19th century literature (Balzac, for example, wrote about the theme). I THINK - I may be wrong - that Hugo had idea of Romantic friendship - pre-20th century idea of sexless love between people of same gender. Joly and Bossuet has this kind of relationship, if I remember right - weren´t they so close that they slept together? I don´t think Hugo uses "sleep" as euphemism for sex. Hugo comments Enjolras´virginity and chastity approvingly: "That chaste, healthy, firm, upright, hard, candid nature charmed him (Grantaire), without his being clearly aware of it, and without the idea of explaining it to himself having occurred to him. He admired his opposite by instinct." Just something to ponder.
For goodness sake, what is the absolute obsession with having to know if a character is Homosexual or not? I have read more questions than enough about different characters in different books! Especially when it really does not matter! I found no hint of Grantaire and Enjolras being anything other than great friends. I just find it so tiresome that characters are torn apart by people obsessed with whether they were gay or not. Get over it!
I always thought of Enjolras as asexual. He really doesn't seem too interested in either sex. It states clearly in the book that he was not interested or fond of women, he would not even look at them. Nor did he show any preferences for men. I don't think it's a far stretch to say that Grantaire was in love with him. He clearly greatly admired him and showed up to the meetings and died for a cause he did not believe in simply because he idolized Enjolras. Also, they are compared to quite a few homosexual partners from history and mythology. This could imply they shared a homosexual relationship, or it could just mean that they are not complete without the other. Truthfully neither one of them functions as a well put together person. Both are too different extremes. Enjolras is too idealistic and puts faith in unrealistic beliefs. Grantaire is too cynical and believes in nothing, not to mention he is an alcoholic. However, pairing the two up makes a well put together person who can function in society. I think Hugo was probably aiming towards that more than anything romantic between them. That being said they are an easy pair to ship and I understand how people pick up that context. I myself am a huge E/R shipper.
Penny, I am not "obsessed" with these characters - I am not really even in this fandom - but if people discuss about books and characters, so what? Just ignore the discussions you dislike.
I see Enjolras as asexual and I THINK Hugo had in mind idea of Romantic friendship, pre-20th century idea(l) of love without sex - if I remember right, Joly and Bossuet were so close they slept together and I don´t think it was euphemism for sex. But I´m not sure.
Mimi, I agree that fans in aný fandom can be disgustingly "OMG, you have DIFFERENT opinion!" For example, I disliked the 2012 movie and saying that in certain circles.
I think that Enjolras was so focused on France that a relationship wasn't even on his mind. As far as Grantaire goes, I think he admired Enjolras as someone he wished he could have been. Think back to your childhood about someone you looked up to. Maybe a celebrity or a family member. For me, I always wanted to be them. I would dress, talk, and act like them but I knew that I could never BE them.
I'm actually fairly certain that currently at least, the strongest advocators for this (beautiful glorious) ship are greatly influenced by the musical or the movie. If you've watched the 25th concert, then you'll probably remember Drink With Me being filled with so much romantic? platonic? subtext between the two. As in it's impossible to miss because they actually did a close up on it in the dvd ( I believe it's on youtube as well but the filmer didn't record the whole thing between Karimloo and Fraser) it was more text than subtext (and a few switches from butt sex im so sorry but anagrams its hilarious) The movie was much more subtle but it was there or at least the one sided pining present in the novel and as any performance there's also quite of nuance which can be perceived differently depending on one's preference.
Personally, I've always though Enjolras as while neither aromantic nor asexual just uninterested? Or perhaps demisexual to be honest I'm not quite sure how to categorise it without going it over extensively because of the time period and such. But at the same time, please understand that shippers don't just see who has the most possibly romantic subtext but also who has or could have the most important dynamic. As Hugo said, they were different sides of the same coin, one could easily think that if perhaps some little thing event had changed or shifted the quiet disdain and worshipping might have changed. Also to Robyn, even if it was a taboo subject, I don't think that necessarily wouldve stopped Hugo, after all if you liked a subject considered taboo there would be some fun in dancing around it right?
Also in reply to the first post, it's not necessarily that, personally I don't believe there was one in the novel (but I can't say the same as in the musical and movie as I felt like while it's the same characters but there are some definite differences I can't ignore) but there is a lot of subtext/ust/pining/possibility/interesting dynamics. There's a lot of reasons why they aren't, bookjolras and bookR (and I say this because again, eR has a lot of facets and I'm assuming most of us are thinking of the book) are too different and the foundation-veneration and disdain- is so entirely one sided, both of them, that I just don't thinking it happened in canon as things currently are. Not only that Enjolras was wholly devoted to Patria, he had no time nor interest in pursuing love or anything not Republic oriented. Even if he had feelings I doubt he'd try to dwell on it, he'd push it down until his dreams have been realized. Grantraire on the other hand. well his Apollo is just that, Apollo. A distant god, blinding in beauty and utterly unreachable in a way. That's why I disagree with Millie, kinda, R didn't want to be him, he was stupefied by Enjolras' radiance and passion and he kinda wanted to soak in the rays you know? But if he can't well, getting burnt is close enough
Hugo wrote Enjolras as chaste and virginal, comparing him favorably to promiscuous Grantaire: "That chaste, healthy, firm, upright, hard, candid nature charmed him (Grantaire), without his being clearly aware of it, and without the idea of explaining it to himself having occurred to him. He admired his opposite by instinct." I think Enjolras smut (apt word) is oxymoron and extremely OOC, although very popular fanon.
I find the differing opinions humorous. Everyone understands the love for France, but it seems that showing love for a man to another man MUST be sexual in nature.
There are also many assumptions, but not one person I found addressed the simple fact the Victor Hugo lived in France during the 3 Day Rebellion. He actually was caught in the middle and the characters were based on real people.
Victor Hugo also had strong religious convictions and this can be seen through out the book. The views of the Church of France would have been Anti-Homosexual.
Meaning, the chances of Victor Hugo trying to be coy and hint to a homosexual relationship would not be a reasonable assumption, unless you ignore the times, the writer and every other message in the book.
BTW, you can be a man and have severe admiration. Many men look up and admire other men, and Victor Hugo drives on the point of mercy, grace and true love, NOT sexual passions.
Note how the prostitutes are described, versus other women.
"Everyone understands the love for France, but it seems that showing love for a man to another man MUST be sexual in nature."
False equivalence. Are you saying there would even be a chance of Enjolras being sexually attracted to a country?
"Victor Hugo also had strong religious convictions and this can be seen through out the book. The views of the Church of France would have been Anti-Homosexual. "
He did, but given the nature of the message of the book, given the nature of the symbols used for Enjolras and Grantaire, the Greek homosexual figures, it seems reasonable.
There's no "relationship" and I have a doubt Enjolras felt love for Grantaire (though his chastity was due to being religious, rather than not being able to feel sexual desire), but I'm certain Grantaire is clearly portrayed as homosexual.
Penny wrote: "For goodness sake, what is the absolute obsession with having to know if a character is Homosexual or not? I have read more questions than enough about different characters in different books! Esp. "
Queer representation is important! Besides, analyzing books is fun and interesting. People do it all the time, plus academically, in school, etc, yet when it comes to the topic of homosexuality it's suddenly weird and obsessive? Come on, now. Also, no, Enjolras and Grantaire were not friends. You might want to do a reread.
Robyn wrote: "Back in the 1800s when Les Miserables was written, homosexuality was a very "taboo" subject. Hugo could not advocate it. His book would have been banned. It is my personal opinion that Grantaire an. "
Never heard of The Picture of Dorian Gray? Sure, homosexuality was taboo, but subtext in literature DID happen. Not to mention, France was the first country to legalize sodomy (in the 1700s.)
Marina wrote: "Everyone keeps mentioning the Greeks, forgetting one little thing - Grantaire était un Pylade point accepté - Grantaire was an unacceptable Pylades.
So how much more unacceptable he would have bee. "
The point being that Grantaire wanted to be the Pylades to Enjolras' Orestes, the Patroclus to Enjolras' Achilles, etc, these iconic homosexual Greek companions, but was unacceptable, his love and admiration wasn't returned. It only adds to the idea that Grantaire has a one-sided homosexual love/desire for Enjolras.
I never got the impression that they had any romantic feelings for each other. To me, they shared a deep, brotherly bond- sort of like David and Jonathan. The first time I ever heard of Enjolras and Grantaire being "shipped" was from teenage Les Mis fangirls who'd only seen the musical or movie.
/> Let's reflect on their relationship a bit. I've been reading through the comments and some I agree on, some I don't, and some offended me, considering I do happen to be a 'fangirl Les Mis' shipper but I have read the book quite a few times actually, not just the movie and musical. But anyway, back to E/R.
When some of you guys say that Enjolras hated or disliked Grantaire, I believe that's entirely untrue. Enjolras did not hate Grantaire, though it may seem like it through dialogue, he just hated Grantaire's cynicism, skepticism, his drunkenness, and the fact that Grantaire has so much potential but just sits around and squanders it. Not much is mentioned about Grantaire's past, but it was mentioned that Grantaire studied painting as a child, danced, did gymnastics, and kickboxing, but seeing him now(in the book), Grantaire is nothing more than just a drunk.
It's true that homosexuality was not uncommon in those days, just look it Joly and Bossuet. They shared a woman, but it was most likely that they loved each other as well, especially since sharing a mistress with another man isn't exactly what a man wants, unless you look at it both ways: sharing a man with a woman. I'm not saying that Enjolras and Grantaire were romantically involved, I'm just saying that if they had not died, then it possibly could have lead to something. Hugo himself states that Grantaire 'loved, admired, venerated' Enjolras, but not in the way we expect it. Grantaire loved and admired Enjolras because Enjolras was exactly what he was not. The book said that around Enjolras, Grantaire felt like somebody again, and that Grantaire basically followed Enjolras around like a lost puppy.
I think that if Hugo made Grantaire actually fall in love with Enjolras, it wouldn't be because of the looks, seeing as Grantaire himself was described an ugly man, it would be because of the passion he carries and that fire that Grantaire could see inside of him, all the things that he doesn't have.
And about the whole mistress thing, I figured it would be obvious that he doesn't especially when Hugo states that the only two kisses in Enjolras' life were the ones he gave to the deceased Mabeuf, one on the forehead and one on the hand.
The 'hero worship' theory could be possible, but I think there was just a bit more to that. Their dynamic is intriguing and interesting and very easy and perfect for shipping.
Also, some say that the scenario during their death was pity or pride, but I disagree. The moment Grantaire recognizes himself to the guards and asks to die with Enjolras is heart touching. The thing is, Grantaire doesn't believe in the cause, or even care for it, and he could have just hidden and escaped afterwards but no, instead, he claims to be a revolutionary and chooses to die with Enjolras. This shows that Grantaire believed in him, he believed in Enjolras. Though he didn't understand or care for their cause, he believed that if one person could change the world, it would be Enjolras. Another thing is the fact that Grantaire actually asks Enjolras if he could die with him, showing that Grantaire believes he is not worthy of Enjolras and Enjolras is above him. Basically, Enjolras was a God and Grantaire was a Worshipper. I do believe that the fact that Grantaire thinks like this would bug Enjolras in the slightest because Enjolras doesn't want to be above anybody, he just wants to be an equal. Also, many of you were talking about the fact that they die together holding hands. If you read it carefully, it says "Enjolras took his hand with a smile". It's not the fact that they were holding hands as they died, but it was the fact that Enjolras took Grantaire's hand and smiled at him, Grantaire never offered his own. Enjolras probably realized in that moment how good of a person Grantaire is and how stupid he's been for not seeing it.
Also in general, their relationship was interesting because even Hugo himself stated that they complemented each other like complementary colors(which if you noticed in the musical and movie, Enjolras and Grantaire wear red and green, complementary colors. They were opposites and (shun me for saying this), but opposites attract. They balanced each other out and though Enjolras never realized it, Grantaire helped strengthen his arguments when they fight, just as Marius did when they debated on Napoleon. Enjolras and Grantaire were also compared to many famous homosexual relationships (the most famous being Orestes and Pylades) but also imagine Patroclus and Achilles, sounds similar to their relationship, correct?
So no, I'm not saying they were in love canonically, but it could have been a possibility. None of us knows what Victor Hugo's real intentions are, unless he rises from the dead or something, but other than that, we could only stick to the facts that we have.
The most famous people in history — according to Google
It used to be a matter of opinion, but in the era of Big Data, researchers may be able to prove it scientifically. Google is in the process of digitizing every book ever printed in English — this year it passed the 30 million book mark.
In their new book, “Uncharted,” scientists Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel explain the trends in language and culture they discovered using this massive database.
They’ve found, for instance, that the use of the phrase “Merry Christmas” only really took off after Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol.” That “have sex” only started appearing regularly in books in the mid-1900s and finally surpassed “making love” only recently. How references to coffee overtook tea in 1968.
One of the more interesting examinations was done by the authors and a researcher named Adrian Veres. They looked at notable people born in a particular year and figured out which one was mentioned in books more than any other. For instance, of those born in 1809, an Illinois baby named Abraham Lincoln would go on to be cited the most in 200 years of book writing.
Of course, this methodology has issues. Since it only covers books and not newspapers (or, in modern times, radio or television), it doesn’t reflect all of culture. Academics cited by other academics (the people who write the most books) tend to be unduly weighted.
Take, for instance, the stretch from 1854-58. Most people probably know Oscar Wilde, Woodrow Wilson, Pius XI, Theodore Roosevelt. But Josiah Royce?
The study also only tracked full-name references, which resulted in one big omission. A name that doesn’t make this list, yet is the most famous person born in the last two centuries by last-name reference, is Adolf Hitler.
Still, it’s fascinating to look at who made their mark on the printed page — and how many of them a literate person today can even identify.
Of the 150 names, only 116 were correctly identified by a Harvard history professor, according to the authors. A journalist managed 103, a recent college grad 73. Can you do better?
How many can you identify?
Most famous person born each year from 1800-1949, as measured by references in books (answers at bottom)
1800: George Bancroft
1801: Brigham Young
1802: Victor Hugo
1803: Ralph Waldo Emerson
1804: George Sand
1805: William Lloyd Garrison
1806: John Stuart Mill
1807: Louis Agassiz
1808: Napoleon III
1809: Abraham Lincoln
1810: Leo XIII
1811: Horace Greeley
1812: Charles Dickens
1813: Henry Ward Beecher
1814: Charles Reade
1815: Anthony Trollope
1816: Russell Sage
1817: Henry David Thoreau
1818: Karl Marx
1819: George Eliot
1820: Herbert Spencer
1821: Mary Baker Eddy
1822: Matthew Arnold
1823: Goldwin Smith
1824: Stonewall Jackson
1825: Bayard Taylor
1826: Walter Bagehot
1827: Charles Eliot Norton
1828: George Meredith
1829: Carl Schurz
1830: Emily Dickinson
1831: Sitting Bull
1832: Leslie Stephen
1833: Edwin Booth
1834: William Morris
1835: Mark Twain
1836: Bret Harte
1837: Grover Cleveland
1838: John Morley
1839: Henry George
1840: Crazy Horse
1841: Edward VII
1842: Alfred Marshall
1843: Henry James
1844: Anatole France
1845: Elihu Root
1846: Buffalo Bill
1847: Ellen Terry
1848: Grant Allen
1849: Edmund Gosse
1850: Robert Louis Stevenson
1851: Oliver Lodge
1852: Brander Matthews
1853: Cecil Rhodes
1854: Oscar Wilde
1855: Josiah Royce
1856: Woodrow Wilson
1857: Pius XI
1858: Theodore Roosevelt
1859: John Dewey
1860: Jane Addams
1861: Rabindranath Tagore
1862: Edward Grey
1863: David Lloyd George
1864: Max Weber
1865: Rudyard Kipling
1866: Ramsay MacDonald
1867: Arnold Bennett
1868: William Allen White
1869: Andre Gide
1870: Frank Norris
1871: Cordell Hull
1872: Sri Aurobindo
1873: Al Smith
1874: Winston Churchill
1875: Thomas Mann
1876: Piux XII
1877: Isadora Duncan
1878: Carl Sandburg
1879: Albert Einstein
1880: Douglas MacArthur
1881: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
1882: Virginia Woolf
1883: William Carlos Williams
1884: Harry Truman
1885: Ezra Pound
1886: Van Wyck Brooks
1887: Rupert Brooke
1888: John Foster Dulles
1889: Jawaharlal Nehru
1890: Ho Chi Minh
1891: Hu Shih
1892: Reinhold Niebuhr
1893: Mao Zedong
1894: Aldous Huxley
1895: George VI
1896: John Dos Passos
1897: William Faulkner
1898: Gunnar Myrdal
1899: Ernest Hemingway
1900: Adlai Stevenson
1901: Margaret Mead
1902: Talcott Parsons
1903: George Orwell
1904: Deng Xiaoping
1905: Jean-Paul Sartre
1906: Hannah Arendt
1907: Laurence Olivier
1908: Lyndon Johnson
1909: Barry Goldwater
1910: Mother Teresa
1911: Ronald Reagan
1912: Milton Friedman
1913: Richard Nixon
1914: Dylan Thomas
1915: Roland Barthes
1916: C. Wright Mills
1917: Indira Gandhi
1918: Billy Graham
1919: Daniel Bell
1920: Irving Howe
1921: Raymond Williams
1922: George McGovern
1923: Henry Kissinger
1924: Jimmy Carter
1925: Robert Kennedy
1926: Fidel Castro
1927: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
1928: Che Guevara
1929: Martin Luther King Jr.
1930: Jacques Derrida
1931: Mikhail Gorbachev
1932: Sylvia Plath
1933: Susan Sontag
1934: Ralph Nader
1935: Elvis Presley
1936: Carol Gilligan
1937: Saddam Hussein
1938: Anthony Giddens
1939: Lee Harvey Oswald
1940: John Lennon
1941: Bob Dylan
1942: Barbra Streisand
1943: Terry Eagleton
1944: Rajiv Gandhi
1945: Daniel Ortega
1946: Bill Clinton
1947: Salman Rushdie
1948: Clarence Thomas
1949: Nawaz Sharif
1800: Historian, founder of US Naval Academy
1801: Mormon leader, founder of Salt Lake City
1802: French author, “Les Misérables”
1803: US poet, leader of Transcendentalism
1804: Pseudonym of French novelist Amantine Lucile Dupin
1805: US abolitionist
1806: English philosopher, author, “On Liberty”
1807: Swiss scientist, first to propose Ice Age
1808: First president and last king of France
1809: US president
1810: Oldest pope
1811: Founder and editor of New York Tribune, US presidential candidate
1812: English novelist, “Tale of Two Cities”
1813: US clergyman, abolitionist
1814: English novelist, “The Cloister and the Hearth”
1815: English novelist, “The Warden”
1816: US politician, railroad executive, surviving wife set up philanthropies in his name
1817: US author, “Walden”
1818: German philosopher, “The Communist Manifesto”
1819: Pen name of English novelist Mary Anne Evans, “Middlemarch”
1820: English biologist, evolution pioneer, coined “survival of the fittest”
1821: US founder of Christian Science
1822: British poet, “Dover Beach”
1823: British historian and journalist
1824: Confederate general in Civil War
1825: US poet, travel journalist
1826: British journalist, founder of the National Review and editor of The Economist
1827: US social critic, proponent of arts and crafts movement
1828: English novelist and poet, “Modern Love”
1829: US secretary of the interior
1830: US poet
1831: Lakota chief, defeated Custer
1832: English author, mountain climber
1833: Famous American actor, brother killed Lincoln
1834: English textile designer, artist
1835: Author, “Huckleberry Finn”
1836: US author of Westerns, “The Outcasts of Poker Flat”
1837: US president
1838: British liberal politician
1839: US political economist, “Progress and Poverty”
1840: Lakota warrior
1841: King of England
1842: One of the founders of economics, “Principles of Economics”
1843: British author, “The Turn of the Screw”
1844: French novelist, “Thaïs”
1845: US secretary of state, helped create World Court and Hague, winner of Nobel Peace Prize
1846: Showman, bison hunter
1847: English stage actress, noted for her Shakespearean portrayals
1848: Science writer, upheld theory of evolution
1849: English poet and author, “Father and Son”
1850: Scottish author, “Treasure Island”
1851: British developer of wireless telegraph
1852: First professor of dramatic literature at Columbia, promoter of theater
1853: Founder of Rhodesia, first chairman of De Beers Rhodes Scholarship funded by his estate
1854: Irish writer, “The Importance of Being Earnest”
1855: American philosopher
1856: US president
1858: US president
1859: US education reformer
1860: US social worker, Nobel Peace Prize winner
1861: Indian author, first non-European to win Nobel Prize for Literature, “Gitanjali”
1862: British foreign secretary
1863: British prime minister
1864: German political economist, “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”
1865: English author, “The Jungle Book”
1866: British prime minister, first from Labour Party
1867: English author, “The Card”
1868: Progressive leader, newspaper editor, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”
1869: French author, winner of Nobel Prize for Literature
1870: US naturalist, novelist, “McTeague”
1871: Longest serving US secretary of state
1872: Indian freedom fighter, popularized yoga
1873: Governor of New York, presidential candidate, has dinner named after him
1874: British prime minister
1875: German author, “Death in Venice,” Nobel winner
1877: American dancer
1878: US writer, Lincoln biographer, Pulitzer winner
1879: Physicist, theory of relativity
1880: US general
1881: Paleontologist, helped discover Peking Man, idea of Omega Point
1882: English writer, “Mrs Dalloway”
1883: Poet, “The Red Wheelbarrow”
1884: US president
1885: Poet, “Ripostes,” editor
1886: Biographer and historian
1887: English poet, “The Soldier”
1888: US secretary of state
1889: First prime minister of India
1890: President of North Vietnam, communist revolutionary
1891: Chinese philosopher, advocate for modern written Chinese
1892: US theologian, wrote the Serenity Prayer
1893: Founding father of communist China
1894: English writer, “Brave New World”
1895: King of England
1896: US writer, “USA Trilogy”
1897: US writer, “The Sound and the Fury”
1898: Nobel-winning Swedish economist
1899: US writer, “The Sun Also Rises”
1900: US presidential candidate, UN ambassador
1901: Cultural anthropologist, informed sexual revolution
1902: Sociologist, “Toward a General Theory of Action”
1903: British author, “1984”
1904: Chinese leader
1905: Philosopher, playwright, “No Exit”
1906: German-American political theorist, “The Human Condition”
1907: English actor
1908: US president
1909: US senator, presidential candidate
1910: Catholic nun, Nobel Peace Prize winner
1911: US president
1912: US economist, Nobel winner
1913: US president
1914: Welsh poet, “Do not go gentle into that good night”
1915: French literary theorist
1916: US sociologist, “The Power Elite”
1917: Prime minister of India
1918: US spiritual leader
1919: US sociologist, post-industrialism
1920: US socialist
1921: Welsh leftist critic
1922: US senator, presidential candidate
1923: US secretary of state
1924: US president
1925: US attorney general, presidential candidate
1926: Cuban president, revolutionary
1927: Colombian writer, “Love in the Time of Cholera”
1928: Argentine Marxist revolutionary
1929: US Civil Rights leader
1930: French philosopher
1931: Last leader of the Soviet Union
1932: US poet, novelist, “The Bell Jar”
1933: US political activist, writer, “The Way We Live Now”
1934: US political activist, “Unsafe at Any Speed”
1935: US rock star
1936: US feminist, psychologist, “In a Different Voice”
1937: Dictator of Iraq
1938: British sociologist, theory of structuration
1939: Killer of JFK
1940: British rock star
1941: US rock star
1942: US actress and singer
1943: British literary theorist, “Literary Theory: An Introduction”
1944: Prime minister of India
1945: President of Nicaragua
1946: US president
1947: British Indian writer, “The Satanic Verses”
1948: US Supreme Court justice
1949: Prime minister of Pakistan
Every location in Bath that you can visit from the movies with Les Miserables, The Duchess and more having been filmed in the city
Steeped in history, it is little wonder that with its Georgian streets and beautiful, Bath has been a popular film location over the years.
Many more TV dramas - including Poldark, Sherlock and Inspector Morse, just to name a few - have also been filmed around the city’s streets.
We’ve put together a list of the places around Bath you can visit from the movies.
Let us know what you think of them in the comments and make your own suggestions too.
Les Misérables (2013)
Despite being set in France, Les Misérables was shot almost entirely in England with Bath one of several locations used for Oscar-winning musical.
Starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, stunt shots for Javert’s suicide scene were re-shot in 2012 at Pulteney Bridge and Weir due to an error found in post-production.
Director: Tom Hooper
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and Eddie Redmayne
Locations: Pulteney Bridge and Weir
The Duchess (2007)
An all-star cast feature Keira Knightley in the lead role visited the city to chronicle the life of 18 century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.
Based on the book by Amanda Foreman, the film used locations such as the Assembly Rooms and Royal Crescent to take cinema-goers back in time.
Director: Saul Dibb
Starring: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling and Dominic Cooper.
Locations: Assembly Rooms, Royal Crescent, Holburne Museum
The Wrong Box (1966)
The oldest film on our list features another incredibly impressive cast, with Michael Caine, Peter Sellers and Dudley Moore starring in the British comedy.
Victorian London crescent exteriors were shot on Bath’s Royal Crescent, while the funeral coach and horse chase was filmed in St James’s Square.
Director: Bryan Forbes
Starring: John Mills, Ralph Richardson, Michael Caine, Tony Hancock, Peter Sellers, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Nunette Newman
Locations: The Royal Crescent, St James’s Square
Based on the classic novel by Bram Stoker, the BBC horror film starring Marc Warren and Rafe Spall received a mixed reception from critics on its release.
It did feature some lovely shots of Abbey Green and North Parade Buildings, though, plus a strong performance from the Hustle-star in the lead role, so it’s not all bad.
Director: Bill Eagles
Starring: David Suchet, Marc Warren, Rafe Spall and Dan Stevens
Locations: Abbey Green, North Parade Buildings
Vanity Fair (2004)
Another period film, this adaption of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel had been in development for over ten years.
Starring Reese Witherspoon in the central role, Great Pulteney Street was transformed into a film set for shooting, with Beauford Square and Holbourne Museum also used.
Director: Mira Nair
Starring: Rees Witherspoon, Eileen Atkins, Gabriel Byrne, Bob Hoskins, Rhys Ifans, James Purefoy and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Locations: Beauford Square, Great Pulteney Street, Holbourne Museum, Sydney Place
Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)
While not physically shot in Bath, the American stop-motion animation comedy based on Roald Dahl’s children’s novel immortalised The Little Theatre in Bath in one scene.
As the animals prepare to battle the farmers in the film’s climax, they run past the recreated frontage of The Little Theatre, including the over door signage, the lobby and the big red CINEMA sign.
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Owen Wilson.
Locations: The Little Theatre
What better place to shoot the ITV film adaption of Jane Austen’s last novel than in city where the famous author lived?
Starring Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins, the film used locations all across Bath, including Bath Street, The Circus, Royal Crescent and the Assembly Rooms.
Director: Adrian Shergold
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Rupert Penry-Evans, Anthony Head, Julia Davis.
Locations: Royal Crescent, The Circus, Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Royal Victoria Park, Pump Room, Abbey Churchyard, Bath Street, Dyrham Park, Sheldon Manor, Great Chalfield Manor
Other film locations nearby
Bath is not the only location regularly used by filmmakers in the South West, with several areas nearby often used for big productions.
Those who interested in a wider film trail can travel to nearby Wells or Lacock, where some recent Hollywood blockbusters have been shot.
Harry Potter (2001, 2002, 2007)
Fans of J. K. Rowling’s famous book and film franchise can wonder around Lacock Abbey for a taste of Hogwarts, with The Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets filmed there.
TAKE OUR BIG HARRY POTTER QUIZ
It has since been used for scenes in The Half-Blood Prince, while the second spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2, was more recently filmed in the village.
Other notable films shot near Bath: The Remains of the Day (1993, Limpley Stoke), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008, Wells and Lacock), Jack The Giant Slayers (2013, Wells and Cheddar Gorge), Wolfman (2008, Lacock).
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