Victor Hugo's Les Miserables is an epic story of injustice, revolution, and redemption set in the slums of 19th century France. Jean Valjean is sent to prison for stealing bread to feed his sister's starving children. Unusually strong and cunning, Valjean escapes, only to be pursued for nearly twenty years by police detective Javert, whose rigid adherence to the law prevents him from seeing the injustice of Valjean's life. Along the way, Valjean becomes a heroic figure, rescuing Cosette, the daughter of an exploited young woman named Fantine, and raising her as his own. One of the most popular novels ever published, Les Miserables has been adapted as an award-winning musical and as well as numerous film versions.