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The Man Who Laughs

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The Man Who Laughs (also published under the title By Order of the King from its subtitle in French ) is a novel by Victor Hugo, originally published in April 1869 under the French title L'Homme qui rit. It is "a dark novel about royal and aristocratic despotism", but Hugo intended parallels between the England depicted and the France of Louis-Philippe and the Régence.The novel concerns the life of a young nobleman, disfigured as a child on the orders of the king, his protector and companion the vagabond philosopher Ursus and the baby girl he rescues during a storm. The action takes place in England in the late 16th and early 17th century, and is famous for the mutilated face - in a permanent laugh - of the hero, Gwynplaine. The book has inspired many artists, dramatists and film-makers.
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original title: L'Homme qui rit
date of publication: 1869
genre: historical novel
followed by: Ninety-three

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