10 thoughts on “Les Miserables: The Facts in the Fiction

  1. Carol White says:

    Doing research on Lafayette, Victor Hugo and lines from the book Les Miserable. At LaMarque’s funeral there is a paragraph in the book that refers to a German named Ludwig Snider, who later lived…….. and fought in the Rev. War with General Lafayette. I believe this Snider to be my great great great grandfather. Family story goes that Gen. Lamarque and he were friends ( don’t know how) and the General wrote him saying he was ill and would like to see him (Snider) one more time. Ludwig Snider set out from Clearfield Co., PA to Paris but arrived only in time for the funeral procession. I found it interesting in this article that Victor Hugo himself was involved in the rebellion. This could explain how the paragraph got into the book, It also could confirm that he actually was there, but does not bring me any closer to knowing how General Lamarque and Ludwig Snider knew each other since Snider was in America before Lamarque’s birth (my story goes they studied together) in France. I have no record of Snider ever returning to Germany or France or General Lamarque ever being in America.

    • scheong says:

      I wouldn’t say that Hugo was ‘involved’, more so that he was caught up in the moment. I don’t think he necessarily took sides, he just happened to be there when it happened, and used it as inspiration for his novel.

    • Bileven says:

      They knew each others, thanks to the US Revolution. Many US Historians always emphasis on Washington’s Army, but overlook other European involvement. Given that state’s like Pennsylvania had strong Dutch connections.

      Canada and the territory west of the US (at that time) was controlled by France.

  2. Lys Avra says:

    haha, the way you put it…sure seems to hop around a bit, doesn’t it?

    • scheong says:

      Certainly, if you’re talking about French government.

    • Bileven says:

      Worst yet, never been the same since. Keeping in mind, Thomas Jefferson admired France, namely the Republic Era. And if anyone ever wanted to find the nearest clone to the US Government, you do not have to look much further than France… except one thing that the French never had, the Bill of Rights…

  3. Jill says:

    Do you have sources for this information? Not that I doubt you, but I’m doing a project for my university’s production and I want to double check a few things. Thank you!

    • scheong says:

      Most of the information was gleamed from biography sites, history websites, and there is also a very interesting Les Miserables Wiki set up by fans, which covers some of the more historical aspects. I don’t have a link for it, but you’ll find it if you type it into Google.

    • Carol White says:

      No I do not have a source. I doubt that it ever happened. As I do research I am finding that Ludwig Snider was well known for being a Revolutionary War soldier that lived to be 113 years old. I have found his obituary published in several US States. Snider may have know Gen. Lafayette since he was a gunsmith at Valley Forge.


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