The setting of this extraordinary historical novel is medieval Paris: a city of vividly intermingled beauty and grotesquerie, surging with violent life under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol, the cathedral of Notre-Dame. Against this background, Victor Hugo unfolds the haunting drama of Quasimodo, the hunchback; Esmeralda, the gypsy dancer; and Claude Frollo, the priest tortured by the specter of his own damnation. Shaped by a profound sense of tragic irony, it is a work that gives full play to the author's brilliant historical imagination and his remarkable powers of description. Whether depicting the frenzy of a brutish mob or the agony of a solitary soul, whether capturing a blaze of sunlight or dungeon darkness, Victor Hugo's art never fails in its quest for the immediacy of felt experience. Immensely popular from its original publication to the present day, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame stands as an unsurpassed and enduring literary triumph.
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