I’m 50 this weekend! Yes, really!
What better way to celebrate than with a fellow February birthday bedfellow (Victor Hugo will be 216 on the 26th Feb after all).
I knew I couldn’t maintain the very impressive participation rate that I began the #LesMisReadalong with, although I did think at the time, that it might last a little longer than two weeks!
Last time we spoke we were slow reading our way through Book 1 – An Upright Man.
Let’s catch up:
- It’s 1815
- Monseigneur Bienvenu is a very good man
- Jean Valjean not so much
- Life in France for the poor & uneducated is very hard indeed
- Jean Valjean steals the silverware
- Monseigneur Bienvenu is a very, very good man despite no longer having any silverware OR candlesticks to his name
- Two years pass
- Hello Paris!
- Four lads and their girls frolic in the springtime
- Fantine has a baby girl, Cosette
- That scoundrel, Tholomyes deserts them
- Fantine leaves Cosette (in what probably amounts to the worse decision ever made in the entire course of history) with the Thenardier’s
- Cosette sweeps the pavement
- The locals call her the Lark, l’Alouette
This made me think of the French song that I learnt as a little girl Alouette. I found this rather funky version of the song….and quickly realised that it’s not the sweet, happy song I thought it was!
But now it suddenly seems even more applicable to Cosette’s story.
We are now 42 days into the #LesMisReadalong which brings us to Vol 1 Book 5, which Denny translates as DEGRADATION and Rose calls THE DESCENT.
- Montreuil-sur-mer is a changed town, suddenly propserous
- But where is Fantine?
- A stranger, saves the Captain’s children from a fire
- Who is this Pere Madeleine?
- A captain of industry
- Says NO to being Mayor
- Refuses royal honours
- In 1820 changes his mind
‘A good mayor is a useful person. How can you hold back when you have the chance to do good?’
- Could this be a reformed Jean Valjean?
- Vol 1 Book 5 Chapter 3 – Sums deposited with Laffitte
- 2 candlesticks on the mantelpiece