The story behind the writing of Les Miserables is one of adultery, revolution and escape. Hugo finished the novel in exile on Guernsey and it took seventeen years to complete.
The story behind the writing of Victor Hugo's classic novel is one of adultery, revolution, political intrigue and exile. It was begun in Paris, when Hugo was part of the political and literary establishment, but the revolution of 1848 led to Hugo falling foul of the authorities and he had to flee for his life in disguise. He was reunited with his precious manuscript days later when it was brought to him in Brussels by his long-time mistress Juilette Drouet. Eventually ending up in Guernsey, it was twelve years later that Hugo finally took his manuscript out and finished it. But the events of the intervening years caused Hugo to make huge additions to the manuscript, transforming it from a novel into a masterpiece.