Les Misérables (usually /leɪ ˌmɪzəˈrɑːb/; ) is a French historical fiction by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. The title can be variously translated from the French as The Miserable, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims, but in the English-speaking world the novel is usually referred to by its original French title. Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, focusing on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.
Examining the nature of law and grace, the novel elaborates upon the history of France, architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. Les Misérables has been popularized through numerous stage and screen adaptations, including a musical.