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Synopsis

More commonly known as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame", Victor Hugo's Romantic novel of dark passions and unrequited love, "Notre-Dame de Paris", is translated with an introduction by John Sturrock in "Penguin Classics". In the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral lives Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer. Mocked and shunned for his appearance, he is pitied only by Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted. Esmerelda, however, has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, and when she rejects his lecherous approaches, Frollo hatches a plot to destroy her, that only Quasimodo can prevent. Victor Hugo's sensational, evocative novel brings life to the medieval Paris he loved, and mourns its passing in one of the greatest historical romances of the nineteenth century. John Sturrock's clear, contemporary translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing it as a passionate novel of ideas, written in defence of Gothic architecture and of a burgeoning democracy, and demonstrating that an ugly exterior can conceal moral beauty.

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