# Units of Measure (en)

Currencies, prices, and salaries in the book

All the modern equivalents in the last column are to the franc in 1992, which is when this edition was published. When converting, please account for inflation.

1 sou = 5 centimes = 1.50 F
1 livre = 1 franc = 20 sous = 30 F
1 écu = 5 francs = 150 F
1 pistole = 10 francs = 300 F
1 Louis d’or = 1 Napoléon = 20 francs = 600 F

1 loaf of bread = 1 sou = 1.50 F
14 hours of work making cardboard boxes = 4 sous = 6 F
1 mutton chop = 6 or 7 sous = 9 to 10.50 F
17 hours of sewing large shirts for soldiers = 12 sous = 18 F
Coin lost by little Cosette = 15 sous = 22.50 F
Coin stolen from Petit-Gervais = 40 sous = 60 F
Price of a cabriolet by the hour = 40 sous = 60 F
Day of work for a fanmaker = 3 francs = 90 F
Sale of one of Fantine’s front teeth = 20 francs = 600 F
Coin put in Cosette’s shoe = 20 francs = 600 F
Annual rent for Marius’ room = 30 francs = 900 F
Jean Valjean’s earnings in prison = 109 francs 15 sous = 3,292.50 F
Annual revenue of Marius’s translation work = 700 francs = 21,000 F
Bishop Myriel’s annual stipend = 15,000 francs = 450,000 F
(1,500 francs for his subsistence with the two old women = 45,000 F)
Cosette’s dowry = 584,000 francs = 17,520,000 F
Fortune of the rich merchant Géborand = 2 million = 60,000,000 F

Distances and measures

Often these measures are translated into English as feet, inches, or another equivalent word. However, they’re not exactly equal to today’s measures.

1 lieue = 4.445 km = 2.76 miles
1 fathom (toise) = 1.949 m = 6 feet 5.7 inches
1 foot (pied) = 33 cm = 13 inches
1 inch (pouce) = 27.07 mm = 1.07 inches

Speed of light indicated by Hugo = 70,000 lieues per second = 311,150 km = 193,339 miles
Valjean’s day of walking to get to Digne = 12 lieues = 53.34 km = 33 miles
Distance from Tinques to Arras = 5 lieues = 22.225 km = 13.8 miles
Gavroche and his two brothers placed end to end = barely 1 toise = 1.949 m = 6 feet 5.7 inches
Height of the Bastille elephant = 40 “feet” = 13.2 m = 43.3 feet
Height of the barricade in the rue de la Chanvrerie = 6 or 7 “feet” = 1.9 to 2.3 m = 6.2 to 7.5 feet
Length of the “monstrous” Saint-Antoine barricade = 700 “feet” = 231 m = 757.9 feet
Average height of the ceiling of the sewer = 5 “feet” 6 “inches” = 1.78 m = 5.8 feet