"You are right sir when you tell me Les Miserables is written for all nations (NOTE: and all times). Those sores of the human race, those great sores which cover the globe, do not halt at the red or blue lines upon the map. In every place where people are ignorant and despairing, in every place where women are sold for bread, where the child suffers for lack of the book which should instruct him and of the hearth which should warm him, the book of Les Miserables knocks at the door and says, "Open to me, I come to you!."
"Have you not, like ourselves, an opulent war-budget and a paltry one for education? Have not you also that passive obedience which is so easily converted into soldierly obedience, a military establishment which pushes the regulations to the extreme of firing upon Garibaldi; that is to say upon the honor of your own nation?
"Have you not, like ourselves, two condemnations, religious condemnation pronounced by a priest, and social condemnation decreed by a judge?
"Ever since history has been written, ever since philosophy has mediated, misery has been the garment of the human race; the moment has, at length, arrived for tearing off that rag..."
Victor Hugo 1862
Letter to Italian Writer