Friday, September 14, 2007

A Romantic Vision

Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo is a glorious romantic imagining of an episode from the year 1793, during the French Revolution and the year of the Great Terror. The setting is Brittany where counter-revolutionary forces have risen up to oppose the Revolutionary leaders. The leader of this group, the aged Marquise de Lantenac, is a romantic hero in the grandest sense. His fate is seems to be determined, however the Revolutionary forces are led by his grand-nephew, Gauvain, who at the last provides the way for Lantenac to escape. The grandeur of this novel is superb, while Hugo builds suspense in every section. Some scenes are so vivid that you are unlikely to forget them, eg. the great cannon episode. The whole of the novel is one astonishing experience that kept this reader spellbound.

Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo. Lowell Bair, trans. and Ayn Rand, intro. Bantam Books, New York, 1962.

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