Events of the Novel and Historical Events, 1723-1831

DatesEvents of the novelHistorical Events
1723 Death of the Regent. Beginning of the reign of Louis XV.
1729Birth of G-----, former member of the Convention. 
1739Birth of Myriel. 
1740Birth of Gillenormand (Marius' future maternal grandfather). 
1752Birth of Mabeuf. 
1767Birth of Pontmercy (Marius' future father). (?) 
1769Birth of Jean Valjean.Birth of Napoléon Bonaparte.
1772 Partition of Poland between Prussia, Austria and Russia.
1773Birth of Thénardier. 
1774 Death of Louis XV. Accession of Louis XVI.
1780Birth of Javert. 
1785Birth of the younger Mlle Gillenormand, future wife of Col. Pontmercy. 
1787Birth of Tholomyès. 
1788Birth of Mme Thénardier. (?) 
1789 Estates-General. Third Estate proclaims itself the National Assembly. National Assembly becomes the National Constituent Assembly. Storming of the Bastille. Abolition of feudalism. Declaration of the rights of man and the citizen.
1790 Civil constitution of the clergy.
1791 Abolition of torture. Flight to Varennes. Legislative Assembly.
1792 "Homeland in danger." 10 August, by Danton's initiative, assault on the Tuileries. Louis XVI suspended, then imprisoned. September massacres. 21 August, opening of the National Convention. Abolition of monarchy. Proclamation of the Republic.
1793 21 January, execution of Louis XVI. 11 March, war in the Vendée begins.
1794The sister who raised him having been widowed with seven children, Jean Valjean takes them into his care.Fall of Robespierre. Thermidorian reaction (In the south, Compagnons de Jéhu, etc.).
1795(Winter) J.V., having stolen a loaf of bread, is arrested.5 octobre (13 vendémiaire an IV) Napoleon Bonaparte stops royalist insurgents marching on the Convention.
1796(22 April) J.V., sentenced to five years in prison, is part of the convoy of convicts leaving Bicêtre for Toulon.
(19 May) J.V. arrives at the prison in Toulon.

Birth of Fantine in Montreuil-sur-Mer.
14 April, Napoleon victorious over the Austrians at Montenotte.
1800J.V. receives news of his sister (and seventh nephew) for the last time.
J.V.'s first escape attempt.
1802J.V.'s second escape attempt. 
1803Javert is an adjutant guard at the Toulon prison.

Birth of Laigle (aka Bossuet).
1804Myriel is the curé of Brignoles.Coronation of Napoléon.
1805Birth of Joly.Austerlitz.
1806Myriel becomes bishop of Digne.

J.V.'s third escape attempt

Birth of Enjolras.

Fantine leaves Montreuil-sur-Mer and puts herself in service to the farmers of the region.
Bienvenu de Miollis is the bishop of Digne. Joseph Bonaparte is the king of Naples.
1807Birth of Courfeyrac.Eylau.
1808 Beginning of the Spanish war. Joseph Bonaparte is the king of Spain.
1809J.V.'s fourth escape attempt.Wagram. Wellington's victory at Talavera.
1810Birth of Marius.Marriage of Napoléon and Marie-Louise.
1811Fantine comes to Paris.Birth of Napoléon II.
1812 Campaign and retreat in Russia.

Failure of the Malet conspiracy.
1813 Loss of Spain.

Capitulation of Paris. Napoleon exiled to Elba. First Restoration. Louis XVIII grants the Charter. Congress of Vienna.
181518 June, at Waterloo, Thénardier robs the wounded Col. Pontmercy and saves his life.

Death of Mme Pontmercy, mother of Marius, who is taken away from his father by Gillenormand.

(Beginning of October) J.V., now a freed convict, passes through Digne, steals from Myriel, then from Petit-Gervais.

Birth of Euphrasie (Cosette), child of Fantine and Tholomyès, and of Éponine, daughter of the Thénardiers.

(December) J.V. arrives at M.-sur-M., where he will become "Father Madeleine."
Return from Elba. Napoleon disembarks at Cannes on 1 March, returns to Paris on the 20th. The Hundred Days. Waterloo. Abdication. Second Restoration. Louis XVIII comes to Paris on 8 July. Napoleon deported to Sainte-Hélène. White terror: assassination of the marshal Brune by ultra-royalists at Avignon; those who wear a green cockade are called "verdets." Election of a Chamber that Louis XVIII judges "unobtainable." Louis suspends individual liberty and suppresses seditious speech, discourse, and writing.
1816Birth of Azelma, second daughter of the Thénardiers.Law allowing permanent exile for regicidal former members of the Convention.
1817Father Madeleine creates a glass bead factory in M.-sur-M.

Col. Pontmercy is on half pay in Vernon.

Gillenormand brings Marius to the salon of Mme de T.

(August) One Sunday, an outing to the country in the banlieue of Paris; Fantine abandoned by her lover, Tholomyès.
1818(May) Fantine, on the road to M.-sur-M., leaves Cosette with the Thénardiers, innkeepers in Montfermeil. 
1819Madeleine refuses the Legion of Honour and the post of mayor. 
1820Javert becomes a police inspector at M.-sur-M.

Madeleine saves Father Fauchelevent, possesses 630 000 F, kept with Laffitte; becomes mayor.

(Beginning of winter) Birth of Gavroche.
Assassination of the duke de Berry; repressive laws. June: at the funeral service of the student Lallemand, killed in a protest, charges of murder. Electoral success of the Ultras. Birth of the duke de Bordeaux, posthumous son of the duke de Berry ("miracle child").
1821(Beginning of the year) Papers announce the death of Mgr Myriel.

M. Madeleine goes into mourning.

(End of winter) Fantine fired from M. Madeleine's factory.
Death of Napoleon the First. Mexican independence, regency entrusted to Agustin de Iturbide, who will subsequently proclaim himself emperor, then be shot in 1824.
1822(Autumn) Arrest of the vagabond Champmathieu for stealing apples; he is identified as J.V. 
1823(Beginning of January) Fantine, who is sick and has become a prostitute, is harassed by a bourgeois and gets into a fight with him; arrested by Javert, she is liberated by M. Madeleine, who has her taken care of.

(February) Trial of Champmathieu in Arras; M. Madeleine denounces himself, then is arrested by Javert; Fantine dies; J.V. escapes, goes to hide his fortune, then lets himself be taken in Paris.

(July) Trial of J.V.: death sentence commuted by the king to hard labor for life.

(16 November) J.V. escapes from the prison at Toulon.

(24 December) J.V. comes back to Montfermeil, meets Cosette in the wood, helps her carry a bucket of water to the Thénardier inn, gives her a doll, takes a room at the inn.

(25 December) J.V. pays all of Fantine's debts and takes Cosette away to Paris, in the lodging he has rented, Gorbeau house, 50-52, bd de l'Hôpital.
Manuel, a liberal deputy, is expelled from the Chamber for having protested the Spanish expedition. The French army occupies Madrid.
1824(March) Found by Javert, J.V. flees with Cosette and finds refuge by chance in the Petit-Picpus convent where he sent Fauchelevent to be a gardener.Ordinance submitting primary education to the clergy.

Death of Louis XVIII.

Coronation of Charles X. Death of General Foy, a comrade of Léopold Hugo in Spain who became the principal orator of the liberal left, which held demonstrations at his funeral.
1825(1824 or 1825) Birth of Gavroche's first brother. 
1826(1825 or 1826) Birth of Gavroche's second brother. 
1827Gillenormand lives at 6 rue des Filles-du-Calvaire.

Death of Col. Pontmercy, who leaves to his son his title of baron (of the Empire) and his debt to Thénardier.
Ulbach, murderer of a young girl, is decapitated.
1828Marius, thanks to M. Mabeuf, churchwarden of Saint-Sulpice, discovers the love his father held for him and how he had lived; he becomes a "Bonapartist democrat," is thrown out by Gillenormand, helped by Courfeyrac, accepted by the "Friends of the ABC."

Thénardier falls into bankruptcy in Montfermeil.
1829Death of Fauchelevent, who passed J.V. off as his brother; J.V. leaves the convent with Cosette.

(October) Under the name of Ultime Fauchelevent, he rents a house in the rue Plumet, an apartment in the rue de l'Ouest and another at 7 rue de l'Homme-Armé.
New ultraconservative minister.
1830Marius, who has rented a room in the Gorbeau house, sees J.V. and Cosette almost every day in the Luxembourg.

The July revolution gives Gavroche his first occasion to have a gun and satisfies Marius.

Four bandits (Claquesous, Gueulemer, Babet and Montparnassegoverns the "third sublevel" of Paris.
Expedition to Algeria. 221 liberal deputies address Charles X. Dissolution. Elections strengthen the opposition. Laws: dissolution, modification of the electoral regime, suppression of liberty of the press, new elections. From 27 to 29 July, revolution. Duc d'Orléans becomes king of the French under the name of Louis Philippe. Polish insurrection.
1831J.V. registers on the census and enroles in the National Guard.

Marius, after six months of interruption, takes up his walks in the Luxembourg once more; there, he sees Cosette and J.V. again.

(16 June) A look from Cosette troubles Marius.

(2 July) Marius and Cosette exchange looks; mutual adoration.

(Middle of the year) Marius pays two quarters of rent for his neighbor Jondrette (Thénardier).

J.V. and Cosette move away from the rue de l'Ouest; Marius loses their trail.

(September) Marius lets himself be taken to the bal de Sceaux by Courfeyrac, Bossuet, and Grantaire; he falls into despair.

(Octobre) J.V. and Cosette, at the barrière du Maine, see the passing of the "cadène," the procession of chained convicts leaving for Toulon.
Insurrection in Italy. Émeutes in Paris. Russians crush the Polish insurrection. Death of conventionnel Henri Grégoire, former constitutional bishop.

Events of the Novel and Historical Events, 1831 & 1832

DatesEvents of the novelHistorical events
February 18322 February - Marius picks up four letters which Eponine and Azelma have dropped on the boulevard de l'Hôpital.

3 February - 7:00 AM: Eponine brings a letter from Jondrette to Marius, who recognizes the author of the four letters of the previous day. End of the afternoon: J.V. and Cosette make a charity visit to the Jondrettes; Marius spies on his neighbors and recognizes the visitors.

Marius asks Eponine J.V. and Cosette's address; 2:30: at the police station on the rue de Pontoise, he informs Javert of the ambush which Jondrette is preparing. About 3:00: Marius follows Jondrette, who is going out to procure a cold-chisel. 6:00: J.V. arrives at the Jondrettes'. Marius, a secret witness, discovers that Jondrette is Thénardier and that "the lark" (Cosette) is in deathly danger. Arrest of the whole gang (or almost) by Javert; flight of J.V. 9:00: Marius goes to spend the night with Courfeyrac.

4 February - 7:00 AM: Marius moves out and goes to live with Courfeyrac. At nightfall, Gavroche learns that his whole family has been arrested.

Eponine, released after 15 days in jail, goes to see the house on the rue Plumet and warns against a robbery there.
Conspiracy of the rue des Prouvaires.
AprilEponine, informed by Mabeuf, finds Marius at the field of the Lark, where he spends his days, and leads him to the rue Plumet.

Gavroche gives shelter for the night to two small children (who are in fact his two little brothers) "at his place," in the elephant of the Bastille.

The next day, at dawn, he ensures his father's escape.

End of April - Pre-revolutionary fever.
Cholera causes more than 12,000 deaths in Paris in that month.
MayMeetings between Marius and Cosette in the garden of the rue Plumet: "idyll." Failure of an attempted legitimist revolution in the Vendée by the dutchess de Berry.
1 June Death of general Lamarque, one of the leaders of the republican opposition.
2 JuneIn the evening, going to the rue Plumet, Marius meets Eponine with a certain amount of discomfort. 
3 JuneIn the evening, Eponine prevents Thénardier and his accomplices from attacking the house on the rue Plumet. At the same time, Marius learns through Cosette that J.V. wants to leave with her for England. 
4 juinMabeuf, reduced to extreme misery, sells his last precious book.

In the evening, Marius goes to ask Gillenormand in vain for permission to wed Cosette.

Cosette entrusts a letter for Marius to a "young worker" (Eponine), in which she tells him of her departure for 7 rue de l'Homme-Armé that evening, and for England in eight days. Eponine keeps the letter.
5 JuneAfter having wandered through Paris, Marius returns to Courfeyrac's at 2:00 in the morning.

When he wakes, he hears Courfeyrac propose to go with Enjolras, Feuilly and Combeferre to general Lamarque's funeral; he doesn't understand.

At about 2:00 in the afternoon, after the clash at the Arsenal, a group of insurgents (amis de l'ABC, Mabeuf, Gavroche, Eponine, etc.) passes by the end of the rue de la Chanvrerie, where Laigle calls out to them that they should build a barricade devant in front of the wine-shop Corinth. At nightfall, Javert, infiltrated with the insurgents, is uncovered by Gavroche.

A suspicious émeutier who has killed a porter is executed by Enjolras. In the rue de l'Homme-Armé, J.V. reads by chance in a mirror, on Cosette's blotter, the letter that she wrote to Marius the previous day.

At 9:00 in the evening, Marius, who has wandered through Paris the whole day, finds the empty house in the rue Plumet; a voice (that of Eponine) tells him that his friends are expecting him at the barricade in the rue de la Chanvrerie.

Between 10:00 and 11:00, the first attack on the barricade: death of Mabeuf with the red flag in his hand.

Marius' arrival: he saves Gavroche, is saved by Eponine, and, threatening to blow up the barricade, puts the assaillants to flight.

Eponine, dying, gives Marius Cosette's letter and makes him promise to kiss her on the forehead when she is dead; he keeps his word, then sends Gavroche to carry a letter of farewell to Cosette. "It is scarcely midnight." Gavroche gives to "M. Chose" (M. Something, J.V.), sitting in front of 7 rue de l'Homme-Armé, Marius' letter for "Mlle Chosette" (Mlle Something).
At general Lamarque's funeral, beginning of a republican insurrectoin.
6 JuneAt dawn, J.V. arrives at the barricade and gives his National Guard uniform to allow an insurgent to escape the massacre. Enjolras' speech; attack on the barricade by artillery; return of Gavroche; skilled shots by J.V.

During this time, in the rue de l'Homme-Armé, Cosette wakes. She is ignorant of all these events and of Marius' fate.

At about 11:00 am, death of Gavroche in front of the barricade; in the Luxembourg, the elder of his two brothers scavenges a brioche jetée thrown to the swans and shares it with his younger brother. A little after noon: Javert is freed by J.V., who had been charged with his execution; massacre at the barricade and in the Corinth wine-shop; Grantaire chooses to be shot by Enjolras' side; Marius is grivously wounded and taken away by J.V. through the Paris sewers.

Between 8:00 and 8:30 pm: after nearly having sunk in the mire, J.V. arrives in front of the sewer grate between the pont des Invalides and the pont d'Iéna; he is extorted by Thénardier (who doesn't recognize him); Javert consents to bring Marius back to Gillenormand.

At nightfall, Marius regains consciousness at Gillenormand's house, while Javert lets J.V. go free, and heads towards the Seine.
End of the insurrection.
7 JuneAt about 1:00 am, after having composed a note of service, Javert throws himself into the Seine. 
22 July Death of Napoleon II in Vienna.
7 SeptemberMarius is out of danger.

J.V. gives news of Marius every day to Cosette, who prepares bandages for him.
DecemberGillenormand consent to a reunion and asks J.V. for Cosette's hand for Marius; J.V. brings 584,000 F, which constitute Cosette's dowry; Gillenormand and J.V. prepare the wedding. 
February 183316 February - "Sleepless night:" for Marius and Cosette, at the rue des Filles-du-Calvaire, and for J.V., at the rue de l'Homme-Armé.

17 February - A bit after noon, J.V. comes to speak with Marius: he reveals to him that he is a former convict and that Cosette is not his daughter.
AprilBeginning of April - Marius and Cosette go on a pilgrimage to the rue Plumet.

End of April - J.V. understands that Marius hopes to push him away from Cosette: he puts an end to his daily visits to the rue des Filles-du-Calvaire.
English suppression of Ireland.
JuneThénardier reveals to Marius, without meaning to, the whole truth about the life of J.V. and the events of June 1832; Marius pays Thénardier his father's debt. He hurries with Cosette to the rue de l'Homme-Armé: death of J.V. between Marius and Cosette.In Spain, the accession of Isabelle II leads to the uprising of the partisans of don Carlos (Carlistes).

After the events of the novel

1834 – April: insurrection in Lyon spreads to Paris on the 13 and 14: battle at the cloister of Saint-Merry and massacre, by the army, of the inhabitants of number 12 rue Transnonain.
1835 – Fieschi, with the complicity of Pépin and Morey, attempts to assassinate Louis-Philippe, who escapes unharmed. Laws of September restrain freedoms of the press and theater.
1836 – Abolishment of the “chain” of convicts.
1837 – Taking of Constantinople: Damrémont killed in the assault.
1839 – 12 May: insurrection of the “Société des Saisons” (Society of the Seasons), directed by Barbès and Blanqui. The 13th, taking of the last barricadesin the quartiers Saint-Denis and Saint-Martin.
1840 – Column of July inaugurated in the place de la Bastille.
1841 – Regulation of child labor. 13 September, in the faubourg Saint-Antoine, assassination attempt on the two royal princes by Quénisset, who claims to belong to the Société des ouvriers égalitaires (Society of Egalitarian Workers).
1844 – Louis Bonaparte, prisoner at the fortress of Ham after his takeover attempt in 1840, publishes L’Extinction du paupérisme (The Extermination of Poverty).
1845 – Law “humanizing” slavery in the colonies, but not abolishing it. Strike of the construction workers: soldiers are put to the service of the employers.
1846 – New insurrection in Poland. Elections, on 1 August, favorable to the government. At the end of September, trouble in the faubourg Saint-Antoine because of a raise in the price of bread; troops restore order.
1847 – 13 and 14 January, serious peasant émeute in Buzançais, in the province of Indre, caused by the shortage of wheat; an owner who refused to lower the price kills an émeutier and is put to death by the crowd. In December, Ledru-Rollin and Louis Blanc demand universal suffrage and advocate “political revolution as a means, socialist revolution as an end.”
1848 – 23 February: Paris is in revolution. The 24th, abdication of the king. A provisional government proclaims the Republic, of which Lamartine is the leader. National workshops. Abolition of the death penalty for political offenses. Social measures. Freedom of assembly and press. Elections to the Constituante.
Abolition of colonial slavery. A day of revolution aborted 15 May. Dissolution of the national workshops. Émeutes from 23 to 26 June. Cavaignac directs their suppression and becomes leader of the government. Arrests, executions, deportations. Election of Louis Bonaparte to the Assembly, then to the presidency of the Republic on 10 December.
1849 – In Rome, deposition of the pope as an earthly ruler and Republic. The French attack Rome, defended by Garibaldi, and re-establish the pope. Victory of the party of order in the elections.
1850 – Fallous Law (primary education submitted to the clergy). Restriction of universal suffrage.
1851 – Failure of attempts to revise the Constitution to permit the re-election of the prince-president. 2 Décembre, Louis Bonaparte’s coup d’état. Barricades on the 3rd. Shooting on the 4th. Summary executions.
1852 – Re-establishment of the Empire.

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