How I thought Les Miserables the brick would start: Jean Valjean is in prison with other guys and they are at hard labor.
How it started: 60 page description on the Bishop and everything he does.

Musical!Valjean: He’s like the son I might have known, if God had granted me a son!
Book!Valjean: I can’t believe I’ve gotta drag this shabby fuckboy all the way through the goddamn sewers… doin’ it for Cosette, though. Doin’ it for Cosette.

Pinning down some Javert dates

extremistonystark:

I’m writing a fic about Javert’s early days as a policeman, and I’m trying to construct a timeline around when he was hired. In the brick, there’s a line introducing Javert in Montreuil-sur-Mer:

Javert owed the post which he occupied to the protection of M. Chabouillet, the secretary of the Minister of State, Comte Anglès, then prefect of police at Paris.

– Les Miserables, Book 5, Chapter 5

Now, Jules

Anglès

was Minister of Police in the provisional government of 1814, which was established during the transitional period after Napoleon’s defeat, so we can safely pin down a date here. Furthermore, Valjean arrives before Javert in Montreuil-sur-Mer in late 1815:

Towards the close of 1815 a man, a stranger, had established himself in the town, and had been inspired with the idea of substituting, in this manufacture, gum-lac for resin, and, for bracelets in particular, slides of sheet-iron simply laid together, for slides of soldered sheet-iron.

– Les Miserables, Book 5, Chapter 1

Thus, it’s safe to say that the “post” referred to in the first passage is NOT the position of inspector in Montreuil-sur-Mer specifically, but Javert’s overall position within the police force. I interpret it as meaning Javert received M. Chabouillet’s patronage in 1814. We also know Javert became an inspector at age 40 (also in Book 5, Chapter 5).

Digging further, in Book 5, Chapter 12, we learn that Fantine is arrested in January 1823. Not long afterward, Javert reports to M. Madeleine in the infamous Punish Me M. le Maire scene:

“Jean Valjean. He was a convict whom I was in the habit of seeing twenty years ago, when I was adjutant-guard of convicts at Toulon.”

– Les Miserables, Book 6, Chapter 2

So working backward, we know Javert was a prison guard in 1803. I’m not sure if that’s when he was hired, but since he’d only be 23 at the time, I’d say it’s a fairly good estimate. Putting all this together, we have the following rough timeline:

1780: Javert is born
~1803 (age 23): Javert becomes a prison guard at Toulon
???: Javert joins the police force
1814 (age 34): Javert receives M. Chabouillet’s patronage
1815: Valjean arrives in Montreuil-sur-Mer
1820 (age 40): Javert is promoted to police inspector
???: Javert arrives in Montreuil-sur-Mer
1823 (age 43): Fantine is arrested
???: Javert is promoted to police inspector first class in Paris
1831: Henri Gisquet becomes prefect of police in Paris
1832 (age 52): Javert commits suicide

I’ll have to change my fic, since I assumed M. Chabouillet secured Javert’s transfer directly from prison guard to policeman, but now it’s more likely that Javert worked as a low-level spy until 1814, when he caught the eye of M. Chabouillet, who helped get him a promotion – probably to Paris, where he underwent instruction as a police inspector. (Current ranks of France’s National Police Force have “lieutenant student” and “lieutenant intern” prior to full lieutenant). Montreuil-sur-Mer was Javert’s first post following the conclusion of his training.

a-little-fall-of-ravenclaw:

So this is your friendly reminder that every time a cannon fired at the barricade, Courfeyrac said, “Bless you!” And Les Amis found it hilarious. Mind you, this is at the literal barricade, amidst all the bloodshed and turmoil. Les Amis are so incredibly dorky and I love them. Allrighty bye.

If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness.

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables (via pilferingapples)

Jean Valjean’s eyes had assumed a frightful expression. They were no longer eyes; they were those deep and glassy objects which replace the glance in the case of certain wretched men, which seem unconscious of reality, and in which flames the reflection of terrors and of catastrophes. He was not looking at a spectacle, he was seeing a vision. He tried to rise, to flee, to make his escape; he could not move his feet. Sometimes, the things that you see seize upon you and hold you fast. He remained nailed to the spot, petrified, stupid, asking himself, athwart confused and inexpressible anguish, what this sepulchral persecution signified, and whence had come that pandemonium which was pursuing him.

On Jean Valjean seeing a passing chain gang in Paris. (Hugo, Les Miserables, Book, Volume 4, Book Two, Chapter VIII)

Valjean exhibiting some classic signs of PTSD after being triggered by the sight of a convict transport

(via autumngracy)

austencollins:

eirenical:

pilferingapples:

austencollins:

I can’t for the life of me figure out who the translator for this edition is.

If you ever can’t figure out who a translator in an English edition of LM is, go to @notquitelostnotquitefound’s  wonderful spreadsheet comparing the translations of 3.4.1, and check the chapter title. Seriously none of them are the same,  somehow, (how, I don’t know) so it’s a quick way to check!

FWIW, I have that translation and I’m pretty certain it’s a Hapgood.

Thanks for the help everyone! I think I’ve read Hapgood before, so that’s $8 saved (for now). 🙂

Any time!  ^_^