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Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris tops Amazon best-seller list after blaze

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By Alice Tidey
Amazon France Best-seller list
Amazon France Best-seller list   -   Copyright  Amazon France

Victor Hugo's 19th-century classic 'Notre-Dame de Paris' is at the top of Amazon's best-selling list in France following the blaze that devastated the cathedral on Monday.

Different editions of the novel occupied the first, third, fourth, and tenth spots on the online retailer's best-seller list on Thursday morning. A volume on the 850-year-old Parisian cathedral claimed the ninth spot.

The book, known in English as 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame', was written in 1831 and initially unravelled across 11 different volumes. Its story takes place in 1482 and centres around Esmeralda, a beautiful Gipsy woman; Frollo, Archdeacon of Josas; and Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre-Dame, adopted by Frollo as a young boy.

But the cathedral is widely seen as one of the main characters with Hugo criticising the "defacements and mutilations" on the monument; which he describes as "venerable."

Another passage of the book depicts a blaze at the cathedral when Quasimodo uses fire and stones to attack Truands in order to save Esmerelda.

It reads: "All eyes were raised to the top of the church. They beheld there an extraordinary sight. On the crest of the highest gallery, higher than the central rose window, there was a great flame rising between the two towers with whirlwinds of sparks, a vast, disordered, and furious flame, a tongue of which was borne into the smoke by the wind, from time to time."

Read more: Victor Hugo already described flames in Notre Dame cathedral in his 1831 novel