Hugo, Dumas, Balzac and Eugène Sue. Eugène Sue’s Mysteries of Paris, describing the dark alley ways of the old Ile de la Cité, was the inspiration for the wanderings of Hugo’s characterJean Valjean in Les Misérables. Hugo returned again to the same area in his Notre Dame de Paris which was more a plea for the restoration of monuments that spoke of French identity than a romantic tale of love and woe. Balzac, who firmly believed that a person’s habitat determined his personality and career, also described the inner city area in the 100 or so novels he composed for the Comédie Humaine. This lecture explores the 1st – 4th arrondissements of Restoration Paris through the texts. This lecture was recorded on 7 March 2014.