Victor Hugo’s 19th-century classic ‘Notre-Dame de Paris, know in English as the ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’, is at the top of Amazon’s best-selling list in France following the blaze that devastated the cathedral on Monday.
Different editions of the novel occupied the first, third, fourth, and tenth spots on the online retailer’s best-seller list on Thursday morning. A volume on the 850-year-old Parisian cathedral claimed the ninth spot.
The book was written in 1831 and initially unravelled across 11 different volumes. The ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’ title was given to its 1833 English translation.
Its story takes place in 1482 and centres around Esmeralda, a beautiful Gipsy woman; Frollo, Archdeacon of Josas; and Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre-Dame, adopted by Frollo as a young boy.
The book depicts a blaze at the cathedral when Quasimodo uses fire and stones in order to save Esmerelda.
Many critics have argued that the cathedral itself is the real hero of the work, which the writer and campaigner began in 1829 partly to draw attention to the importance of the French capital’s Gothic architecture, which at the time was being widely neglected.