SALT LAKE CITY — "The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is a literary classic, and this week, it’s returned to the top of best-seller lists following the devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in France.
According to Bloomberg, the novel jumped to the top spot on Amazon France’s best-seller list Tuesday following the fire. The spot was previously held by Juan Branco’s “Crepuscule” (Twilight), a critique of President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.
Victor Hugo and Notre Dame
The novel’s jump in popularity comes at a time when France and the world mourn the destruction done to the roof of the historic cathedral, and it makes sense considering the way author Victor Hugo wrote about it.
Hugo’s novel is a celebration of the cathedral and a reminder that it can be repaired and rebuilt.
Notre Dame was in a state of “horrific disrepair” when Hugo was writing, according to Vox. It was vandalized and neglected to the point where Hugo predicted it would one day “disappear from the face of the earth.”5 comments on this story
When “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” was released in 1831, it rapidly became a best-seller in France and turned public attention to the cathedral. The king ordered a restoration of Notre Dame in 1844, Vox reported.
Plans for Notre Dame today
Macron said he’d like to see the cathedral rebuilt within five years.
“We have so much to rebuild … We will rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral even more beautifully," Macron said Tuesday. "We can do it, and once again, we will mobilize (to do so)."
The fire at Notre Dame raged on for 12 hours, destroying the building’s spire and roof but sparing its medieval bell towers and many precious artifacts inside.