Victor Hugo (1802-85), novelist, poet, playwright, and French national icon, is best known for two of today’s most popular world classics:Les MisérablesandThe Hunchback of Notre-Dame, as well as other works, includingThe Toilers of the SeaandThe Man Who Laughs. Hugo was elected to the Académie Française in 1841. As a statesman, he was named a Peer of France in 1845. He served in France’s National Assemblies in the Second Republic formed after the 1848 revolution, and in 1851 went into self-imposed exile upon the ascendance of Napoleon III, who restored France’s government to authoritarian rule. Hugo returned to France in 1870 after the proclamation of the Third Republic. Julie Rose’s acclaimed translations include Alexandre Dumas’sThe Knight of Maison-Rougeand Racine’sPhèdre, as well as works by Paul Virilio, Jacques Rancière, Chantal Thomas, and many others. She is a recipient of the PEN medallion for translation and the New South Wales Premier’s Translation Prize. Adam Gopnik is the author ofParis to the MoonandThrough the Children’s Gate, and editor of the Library of America anthologyAmericans in Paris. He writes on various subjects forThe New Yorkerand has recently written introductions to works by Maupassant, Balzac, Proust, and Alain-Fournier.