New answers tagged

14

By “the red ant heaps of Toulon”, Hugo means the Bagne de Toulon, a notorious prison where the convicts wore red jackets and red caps. This is the prison where Jean Valjean serves nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread, in Hugo’s Les Misérables. L’habillement du forçat qui est différent pour chaque bagne, se compose à Toulon, dit l’auteur, d’une ...


5

I just figured out the answer to my own question. By the "Red ant heaps of Toulon", Hugo most likely means the Bagne of Toulon, the prison that is also prominently featured in "Les Misérables" as the place in which the protagonist Jean Valjean is imprisoned for many years. It was, by modern definition, more of a forced labor camp than a ...


3

The 1906 Clarendon Press edition of the French text of the novel, edited by Léon Delbos, is available at the Internet Archive and has comprehensive notes starting at page 353: Page 1. (Heading of chapter.) La Grand’Salle. The apostrophe was first used by French grammarians between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, under the mistaken idea that an e had ...


Top 50 recent answers are included