Marianne wrote:Has anyone else read this? It's a monster--quite possibly longer than Les Mis--but the similarities with Les Mis are so fascinating that I'm itching to talk about it with someone who's also read it.
Really enjoying the new Penguin translation. What did you think of the Schoolmaster's punishment? I heard about this scene before reading the novel and thought it sounded disgusting. However when I read the chapter I was captivated by the reasonsing behind it. I felt like it was Edmond Dantes speaking rather than Rudolphe.
I also like the fact that Sue uses footnotes to remind us of the theme of social injustice that underpins the sensational plots. When Fleur de Marie is giving an account of her horrible Cosette like childhood, Sue reminds us that children are abused on regular basis. Sadly it is an issue that is still relevant today.
I am comparing this new Penguin translation with some of my older versions since it claims all the Victorian translations were incomplete. So far they seem identical other than the fact my Routledge version from the 1870s omits the short introduction which compares the underworld of Paris to the so called "savages" of America, in other words Native Americans. This is not a bad thing.