On a bitterly cold day in February 1846, the French writer Victor Hugo was on his way to work when he saw something that affected him profoundly.

A thin young man with a loaf of bread under his arm was being led away by police. Bystanders said he was being arrested for stealing the loaf. He was dressed in mud-spattered clothes, his bare feet thrust into clogs, his ankles wrapped in bloodied rags in lieu of stockings.

“It made me think,” wrote Hugo. “The man was no longer a man in my eyes but the specter of la misère, of poverty.”

Let Them Eat Bread: The Theft That Helped Inspire ‘Les Miserables’

Illustration by Minnie Phan for NPR

“Florals for spring, groundbreaking.”

HEY FRIENDS so through some wonderful circumstances, I’m going to be travelling around England and then over to Paris this coming June! If you have been to either place, send me some suggestions of your favourite locations. I’m in the planning stages and I’d love some tips!

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Day 27/100:

i stayed home sick today and used my time for revising and for preparing for my acid-base test in chemistry tomorrow. i’m really nervous, but i’m trying my best to prepare and hopefully i’ll be okay!

i’ve also recently taken up self-studying french!

je veux Français parler.🇳🇱