Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo. The novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly 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, the architecture and urban design 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 adaptations for the stage, television, and film, including a musical and a film adaptation of that musical. Upton Sinclair described the novel as “one of the half-dozen greatest novels of the world,” and remarked that Hugo set forth the purpose of Les Misérables in the Preface: So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age.the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night.are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless.