One of the great literary tragedies of all time, The Hunchback of Notre Dame features some of the most well-known characters in all of fiction - Quasimodo, the hideously deformed bellringer of Notre-Dame de Paris, his master the evil priest Claude Frollo, and Esmeralda, the beautiful gypsy condemned for a crime she did not commit. (Summary by Mark Nelson) - From Librivox
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris, lit. 'Our Lady of Paris', originally titled Notre-Dame de Paris. 1482) is a French Gothic novel by Victor Hugo, published in 1831. The novel has been described as a key text in French literature and has been adapted for film over a dozen times, in addition to numerous television and stage adaptations, such as a 1923 silent film with Lon Chaney, a 1939 sound film with Charles Laughton, and a 1996 Disney animated film with Tom Hulce.
The story is set in Paris in 1482 during the reign of Louis XI. Esmeralda, a beautiful, sixteen-year-old Romani dancer, is the romantic and sexual interest of many men; including Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers; poet Pierre Gringoire; hunchbacked cathedral bell-ringer Quasimodo.
The novel sought to preserve values of French culture in a time period of great change, which resulted in the destruction of many French Gothic structures and threatened to trivialise the vibrancy of 15th-century France. The novel made Notre-Dame de Paris a national icon and served as a catalyst for renewed interest in the restoration of Gothic form.
-Adapted from Wikipedia