javert's arrival

les mis songs in summary
  • look down: angry work song
  • valjean arrested/valjean forgiven: everyone hates valjean (except, for some weird reason, the bishop)
  • valjean's soliloquy: valjean is confused about whatever he's done now
  • at the end of the day: who is fantine and why is she relevant to this story? i don't know but the harmonies in this song are freakin great
  • lovely ladies: who knew prostitutes could sing (also: fantine cuts her hair and is not happy with the results)
  • i dreamed a dream: fantine had some high hopes up until this point (never a good idea)
  • fantine's arrest: fantine gets her claws out and doesn't actually get arrested
  • the runaway cart: valjean can, for some reason, lift a really heavy cart
  • who am i?: valjean is confused about his actions (again) (also: javert learns valjean's secret!!!! woah what a surprise)
  • fantine's death: fantine has some hardcore hallucinations and then dies
  • the confrontation: javert and valjean are angry about very different things
  • castle on a cloud: a small, dirty child sings about things only found in her imagination
  • master of the house: the thenardiers are terrible foster parents and surprisingly good cons
  • the waltz of treachery: is valjean secretly a child slaver? no? alright good.
  • look down: poor people complaining (ft. gavroche, aka my son)
  • javert's intervention: it's jaVVVERETTTTTT (in which javert sticks his nose where it doesn't belong and almost catches up to valjean)
  • stars: javert is passionate about astrology and the law
  • eponine's errand: eponine's in a one-sided relationship
  • the abc cafe/red and black: enjolras wants a revolution but everyone is too busy with marius's love life to pay attention to him
  • do you hear the people sing: everyone finally listens to enjolras and now it's revolution time (no one is a fan of the french government)
  • in my life: cosette sings about her feelings
  • heart full of love: complete strangers (aka marius and cosette) talk about their love for each other
  • attack on rue plumet: eponine saves the day and thenardier is a little bitch (as per usual)
  • one day more: everyone ever sings reprises of every song ever
  • at the barricade: just. at the barricade.
  • on my own: eponine is lonely (not a surprise)
  • building the barricade: they're just building the barricade? that's literally all that's going down.
  • javert's arrival: wow what a surprise javert is once again being a dick because he cares way too much about the law (priorities, man)
  • little people: my son gavroche sings a song that will undoubtedly make you cry when he sings it again (also he calls javert out on his shit and is my actual hero)
  • a little fall of rain: is marius finally returning eponine's affections? no? i thought not.
  • night of anguish: oh no. eponine died.
  • first attack: loud screaming about fighting and dramatic music
  • drink with me: enjolras and grantaire are really gay and everyone suddenly loves alcohol
  • bring him home: valjean just REALLY wants marius to come home (we get it dude no need to repeat yourself four hundred times)
  • dawn of anguish: drink with me reprise
  • second attack: that little people reprise i was talking about (have fun droWNING IN YOUR TEARS)
  • the final battle: everyone you care about dies
  • dog eats dog: thenardier has a bit too much fun in the sewers
  • javert's suicide: javert still cares way too much about the law and has an existential crisis because valjean was nice to him (then he jumps off a bridge, you know, as you do)
  • turning: women mourning people they didn't even know (why? i'd tell you if i knew)
  • empty chairs at empty tables: marius hallucinates about his dead friends (he probably got it from fantine tbh)
  • every day: cosette and marius talk about their love (they're no longer strangers so it makes a bit more sense? i guess?)
  • valjean's confession: valjean's done some bad shit and owns up to it (good job)
  • wedding feast: the thenardiers interupt a perfectly good wedding
  • epilogue: EVERYONE IS DEAD but it's okay because the ending is just. so beautiful.
Pinning down some Javert dates

I’m writing a fic about Javert’s early days as a policeman, and I’m trying to construct a timeline around when he was hired. In the brick, there’s a line introducing Javert in Montreuil-sur-Mer:

Javert owed the post which he occupied to the protection of M. Chabouillet, the secretary of the Minister of State, Comte Anglès, then prefect of police at Paris. When Javert arrived at Montreuil-sur-Mer, the fortune of the great manufacturer was already made, and Father Madeleine had become Monsieur Madeleine.

- Les Miserables, Book 5, Chapter 5

Now, Jules Anglès was Minister of Police in the provisional government of 1814, which was established during the transitional period after Napoleon’s defeat, so we can safely pin down a date here. Furthermore, Valjean arrives before Javert in Montreuil-sur-Mer in late 1815:

Towards the close of 1815 a man, a stranger, had established himself in the town, and had been inspired with the idea of substituting, in this manufacture, gum-lac for resin, and, for bracelets in particular, slides of sheet-iron simply laid together, for slides of soldered sheet-iron.

- Les Miserables, Book 5, Chapter 1

Thus, it’s safe to say that the “post” referred to in the first passage is NOT the position of inspector in Montreuil-sur-Mer specifically, but Javert’s overall position within the police force. I interpret it as meaning Javert received M. Chabouillet’s patronage in 1814. We also know Javert became an inspector at age 40 (also in Book 5, Chapter 5).

Digging further, in Book 5, Chapter 12, we learn that Fantine is arrested in January 1823. Not long afterward, Javert reports to M. Madeleine in the infamous Punish Me M. le Maire scene:

“Jean Valjean. He was a convict whom I was in the habit of seeing twenty years ago, when I was adjutant-guard of convicts at Toulon.”

- Les Miserables, Book 6, Chapter 2

So working backward, we know Javert was a prison guard in 1803. I’m not sure if that’s when he was hired, but since he’d only be 23 at the time, I’d say it’s a fairly good estimate. Putting all this together, we have the following rough timeline:

1780: Javert is born
~1803 (age 23): Javert becomes a prison guard at Toulon
???: Javert joins the police force
1814 (age 34): Javert receives M. Chabouillet’s patronage
1815: Valjean arrives in Montreuil-sur-Mer
1820 (age 40): Javert is promoted to police inspector
???: Javert arrives in Montreuil-sur-Mer
1823 (age 43): Fantine is arrested
???: Javert is promoted to police inspector first class in Paris
1831: Henri Gisquet becomes prefect of police in Paris
1832 (age 52): Javert commits suicide

I’ll have to change my fic, since I assumed M. Chabouillet secured Javert’s transfer directly from prison guard to policeman, but now it’s more likely that Javert worked as a low-level spy until 1814, when he caught the eye of M. Chabouillet, who helped get him a promotion - probably to Paris, where he underwent instruction as a police inspector. (Current ranks of France’s National Police Force have “lieutenant student” and “lieutenant intern” prior to full lieutenant). Montreuil-sur-Mer was Javert’s first post following the conclusion of his training.

After a bout of curiosity, I started playing Neko Atsume a couple weeks ago and since I started I couldn’t get this idea out of my mind: Pocket Atsume :P

I don’t have the coding knowledge to make the idea a reality, but I have a lot of ideas - some of which are shown on in my little doodle.

If you’d like to hear my ramblings, feel free to continue reading under the cut! :)

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