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February 07 , 2008

The Hunchback of Notre Dame


The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris, "Our Lady of Paris") is a novel by Victor Hugo published in 1831. The French title refers to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, on which the story is centered. The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the largest and most well-known cathedrals in the world. The story begins on Epiphany (6 January), 1482, the day of the 'Feast of Fools' in Paris, France. Quasimodo, the deformed hunchback bell-ringer of Notre Dame, is introduced by his crowning as King of Fools. Esmeralda, a beautiful Gypsy with a kind and generous heart, captures the hearts of many men, including those of a Captain Phoebus and a poor street poet, Pierre Gringoire, but especially those of Quasimodo and his adoptive father, Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame. Frollo is torn between his obsessive love and the rules of the church. He orders Quasimodo to kidnap her, but the hunchback is suddenly captured by Phoebus and his guards who save Esmeralda. Quasimodo is sentenced to be flogged and turned on the pillory for one hour, followed by another hour's public exposure. He calls for water. Esmeralda, seeing his thirst, offers him a drink. It saves him, and she captures his heart.

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