The Novel Of The Century - The Extraordinary Adventure Of Les Miserables

Episodes

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012017012320170124 (R4)

David Bellos explores why Les Miserables is 'France's greatest gift'.

David Bellos explores why Les Miserables is "France's greatest gift". He reveals its inspirations and its resonance now, while describing Victor Hugo's life as he penned his epic.

There has never been a book like it. War and Peace, Great Expectations, Crime and Punishment were all published in the same decade, yet only Les Misérables can stand as the novel of the nineteenth century. How did Victor Hugo's epic work come to be the most widely read and frequently adapted story of all time? And why is its message just as important for our century as it was for his own?

Author David Bellos tells the compelling story of The Novel of the Century.

Reader: Daniel Weyman

Abridged by Eileen Horne

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

022017012420170125 (R4)

While narrating Victor Hugo's fall from grace in France, David Bellos begins to decode his epic, exploring the meaning of colours and money in the context of Hugo's time.

There has never been a book like it. War and Peace, Great Expectations, Crime and Punishment were all published in the same decade, yet only Les Misérables can stand as the novel of the nineteenth century. How did Victor Hugo's epic work come to be the most widely read and frequently adapted story of all time? And why is its message just as important for our century as it was for his own?

Author David Bellos tells the compelling story of The Novel of the Century.

Reader: Daniel Weyman

Abridged by Eileen Horne

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

While narrating Hugo's fall from grace in France, Bellos begins to decode Les Miserables.

032017012520170126 (R4)

Victor Hugo finds himself in exile in the Channel Islands and returns to the manuscript he had begun more than a decade earlier - a novel of the poor, with a working title of Les Misères.

There has never been a book like it. War and Peace, Great Expectations, Crime and Punishment were all published in the same decade, yet only Les Misérables can stand as the novel of the nineteenth century. How did Hugo's epic work come to be the most widely read and frequently adapted story of all time? And why is its message just as important for our century as it was for his own?

Author David Bellos tells the compelling story of The Novel of the Century.

Reader: Daniel Weyman

Abridged by Eileen Horne

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

In exile in Guernsey, Hugo returns to the manuscript he began more than a decade earlier.

042017012620170127 (R4)

Still exiled on Guernsey, as the author Victor Hugo tries to reconstruct Paris from memory, distance also complicates the revision and delivery of his final manuscript to Brussels.

There has never been a book like it. War and Peace, Great Expectations, Crime and Punishment were all published in the same decade, yet only Les Misérables can stand as the novel of the nineteenth century. How did Victor Hugo's epic work come to be the most widely read and frequently adapted story of all time? And why is its message just as important for our century as it was for his own?

Author David Bellos tells the compelling story of The Novel of the Century.

Reader: Daniel Weyman

Abridged by Eileen Horne

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

In exile in Guernsey, Victor Hugo tries to reconstruct a Paris he has not seen for years.

052017012720170128 (R4)

Just what makes Les Miserables one of the world's most popular books?

As Victor Hugo finishes the book and it is launched to huge acclaim, David Bellos offers insights into the politics and morality of the novel - as serious and complex as it is perennially popular.

War and Peace, Great Expectations, Crime and Punishment were all published in the same decade, yet only Les Misérables can stand as the novel of the nineteenth century. How did Victor Hugo's epic work come to be the most widely read and frequently adapted story of all time? And why is its message just as important for our century as it was for his own?

Author David Bellos tells the compelling story of The Novel of the Century.

Reader: Daniel Weyman

Abridged by Eileen Horne

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.