He took as his subject one of the darkest moments of the Revolution, the revolutionary wars in the department of the Vendée and neighbouring Brittany. Written by The sailor risks his life to secure the cannon and save their ship. [2] In Quatrevingt-treize he returned to confront this theme and to tackle the first French Revolution. He is the marquis de Lantenac, a Breton noble, who disguises himself as a peasant after landing on the western coast. The story focuses on the Marquis de Lantenac, a nobleman from Brittany who fled to England and secretly comes to Vendée to take the lead of the uprising and prepare a British landing. [1] Though he had originally conceived the idea for the novel several years before the Paris Commune of 1871, he undoubtedly had the Commune in mind as he wrote it, above all that terrible week in May 1871 when many thousands of insurgents were killed on the streets of Paris. Quite the contrary: Republicans and Royalists alike are depicted as idealistic and high-minded, completely devoted to their respective antagonistic causes (though, to be sure, ready to perform sundry cruel and ruthless acts perceived as necessary in the ongoing titanic struggle). Gauvain is torn between the incompatible worldviews of his two mentors. Victor Hugo, Ninety-Three (New York: Carroll and Graf, 1988). His mission, which he pursues with ruthless single-mindedness, is to act as a leader to the rebels, harness them to the royalist cause and contrive an opportunity for an English military invasion. It was just after the French Revolution. The extraordinary power of Hugo’s book comes from his insights into the complex motivations that drive his characters. It is then they decide that Cimourdain must be sent to the Vendée. Forced to retreat, Lantenac is constantly kept from the coast by Gauvain. Aim! Gauvain's forgiveness after Lantenac's courageous act contrasts with Lantenac's executing the sailor at the beginning of the novel. We are told he knows nothing of the people of Brittany and cares nothing for them; all he wants is to restore the Old Regime, its monarchy, its clergy (though he himself is a religious sceptic) and its nobility, and to smash the revolutionaries whom he dismisses with contempt as fools and villains. Struck with guilt, he returns through the passage to the castle and rescues the children, helped by Radoub. A desperate fight ensues, from which miraculously Lantenac escapes, only to return voluntarily to rescue the children from being burned alive, when he realises that he alone has the key to the door behind which they are locked. Here the tensions between Lantenac, Cimourdain, and Gauvain flare into dramatic life and come to their inexorable conclusion. Gauvain is then tried for treason. Moving Picture World synopsis, A story of the royalist uprising known as the Vendee of Brittany. Gauvain knows that Cimourdain will guillotine Lantenac after a show trial.

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