Friday, November 26, 2010

So, Quasimodo is not Malicious and I'm a Heathen.......

Notre Dame
Okay……….  so I should keep quiet until I’ve read more of a book and have done a bit of research!
The reason for the major architectural descriptions is that Hugo was despairing of the state of the grand buildings in Paris during his time.  The result of this novel was a resurgence into the repair and restorations of these buildings including the Cathedral.
The reason why Quasimodo tried to abduct Esmeralda was on the instruction of the Archdeacon (his foster father) who is besotted with her.  So poor Quasimodo gets a flogging for his troubles.
In an effort to break the magical/demonic spell the priest believes that Esmeralda has cast over him, he stabs the man she loves – the philandering Phoebus – when he and Esmeralda steal a moment together.  Esmeralda faints and this is how she is found, next to the ‘body’.
Tried for being a sorceress (due to other events also conspiring against her) she is sentenced to do penance and then to be executed.  Her goat is tried also and found guilty – what a strange bunch those medieval people were!
Victor Hugo
Phoebus is not dead however and once recovered from his wound he returns home to his long suffering fiancĂ© Fleur-de-Lys just as Esmeralda is to do her penance.  Realising that she is about to be hung for the murder of a man who yet lives, and that he loves another woman, Esmeralda is distraught and ready to die.  She is saved though at the eleventh hour by Quasimodo who carries her into the Cathedral crying “Sanctuary!”  In a cell he gives her is own dinner and his own bed, plus a whistle which is the only sound his deafness will allow him to hear.  He is aware of how his ugliness makes Esmeralda uncomfortable so he stays in shadows out of sight…….. it’s very sad.
The safety of Sanctuary is to be overturned however and Esmeralda is still due to hang, so her Bohemian clansman and a few hangers on armed with pitchforks and the like are to storm the Cathedral and rescue her, but Quasimodo has other ideas as he thinks they're coming to kill her…… it’s quite a story!
10% left of The Lair of the White Worm thank god.  It really is an abysmal piece of work.  And, I have started my final 1001 book for the year Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde.  It's only a novella, not long at all.
Last night I picked up Stephen King's Full Dark No Stars for my shelf/shrine and will start that asap.  This is also a book of novellas.  I'm not holding my breath though - since expanding my reading I don't enjoy his later work as much as I would have done but I still can't resist trying.


  1. Before you call the Middle Ages strange, have a look at :)

  2. That was a really interesting story, but rather disturbing if it really was a little boy. It's funny how suspicious people were back then, but sad that they could be so brutal against the innocent.

  3. Have you ever read any Dorothy L Sayers? Set later than that in Britain, she makes reference to the near complete isolation of East Anglian villages set barely a few miles apart (and the effect on the gene pool.

    Very advanced lady, Ms Sayers! I'll be reviewing her when I can -- she's one of those authors that isn't very easy to read sometimes but repays the effort.

  4. No, I never have. I recognise the name but I think I have categorised her in my mind with the likes of Mills and Boon writers. It sounds like I have been wrong! I'll make a point of having a look at her bibliography and see if I can pick something that takes my fancy for next years reading list.