Skip to main content

View Diary: Les Misérables [1.1-I] M. Myriel (70 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Unabridged, downloaded to Kindle (3+ / 0-)

    Very timely as I just finished my decennial re-read.

    My grandfather was a Southern Baptist minister, and Les Miserables was his favorite book, after the Bible. He said he reread it every year and never failed to learn something new. He gave me a copy when I was about 10 years old. I don't reread it every year, but about every 10 years, in his memory.

    My grandfather defied every stereotype you might have of a Baptist minister, just as M. Myriel defied the stereotype of a bishop. He fed the hungry - at his back steps, during the Depression. He helped the poor and sick. And he visited prisoners. Until he died, at 93 years old, he took the bus every weekday to downtown Dallas, where he had a tiny office in the courthouse, and he visited people in jail and cared for them and their families.

    My grandfather believed in integration, and in evolution. (Imagine him preaching on visiting ministries in Oklahoma and Arkansas in the 1920's - saved from tarring and feathering only by being a legally blind Baptist minister!) My mother always says he was the best-read man she ever knew. But his very favorite reading, for Hugo's wide and compassionate view of history and humanity, was this book.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site