The Toilers of the Sea ranks with The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Miserables as among Hugo's most important novels, yet is less well known, in part because the only English translation was inaccurate, stilted, and incomplete. Thus, James Hogarth's excellent new translation — the first rendering of the complete novel — is a noteworthy event; in it, the clarity and power of Hugo's voice is restored.
The novel tells the story of Gilliat, a humble Guernsey fisherman, who falls in love with a shipowner's daughter and, to win her hand in marriage, must free a ship that has run dangerously aground. To do so, Gilliat employs great feats of engineering, endures the mighty powers of sea and wind, and does battle with a great sea monster. In its evocation of the elements in all their ferocity, The Toilers of the Sea is one of the greatest depictions of nature ever attempted. In its treatment of the lives of the working poor, it is a work of humane majesty.
This edition includes comprehensive endnotes and Hugo's illustrations, which have never been reproduced in an edition of this monumental novel.
Victor Hugo (1807-1885)was a novelist, poet and dramatist, and the most important of the French Romantic writers. He began to write at a very young age and wrote over fifty novels and plays; including Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
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