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Patron-Minette: Wikis

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Patron-Minette was the name given to a street gang in Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables and the musical of the same name. They acted as secondary villains and were referred to, in the book, as 'Devils of Crime'. The gang consisted of Montparnasse, Claquesous, Babet, and Gueulemer. They were clearly well acquainted with the Thénardiers, who brought them in for the ambush on Jean Valjean, alias Ultime Fauchelevant.

Contents

Character Descriptions

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Montparnasse

Montparnasse was, in the words of Hugo, "scarcely more than a child, a youth of under twenty with a pretty face, cherry-lips, glossy dark hair and the brightness of Springtime in his eyes. ... The gamin turned vagabond and the vagabond become an assassin ... A fashion plate living in squalor and committing murder."

He may have been romantically involved with Éponine, as suggested by this line from Vol. 4, Book 6, Ch. 3: "Montparnasse himself, who was, perhaps, almost Thenardier's son-in-law.."

Claquesous

As described by the author, Claquesous was a creature of the night, and a vague underworld dweller at best, a ventriloquist, more often masked than not and shrouded in a thick cloud of mystery. He is possibly a policeman in disguise, given his almost miraculous talent for escaping police custody. Hugo suggests that he may have been killed in the line of duty at the barricade, disguised there as a revolutionary, as no one saw Claquesous again thereafter.

Babet

Babet was a jack of all trades, a performer, a dentist, tall and thin with "daylight ... visible through his bones." He had a family (a wife and children) at one point, but lost them "as one loses a pocket handkerchief."

Gueulemer

Gueulemer is described as the most physically imposing of the gang members, "a Hercules ... come down in the world." However, he was known to have very little brain.

The Gang in the Musical

Interestingly, the character of Gueulemer is replaced by Brujon, who appears in the novel but not as one of the Patron-Minette quartet. The gang first appears in Look Down/The Robbery/Javert's Intervention at which point they are introduced to the audience by Thénardier ("Everyone here?/You know your place./ Brujon, Babet, Claquesous!/ You, Montparnasse / Watch for the law with Éponine..."). Montparnasse also appears in a brief scene with Éponine at the beginning of "The Attack on Rue Plumet" That scene is often cut from recordings, but implies that the two are close. The gang attempts to rob Jean Valjean's house until Éponine, afraid that Marius will think her a criminal, screams to send them away.

Perception in the Les Misérables Fandom

Lately, Patron-Minette has become fairly popular in the Les Misérables Fandom, mostly due to lesmisloony's "Charmer of the Shadows"[1], a fanfiction story which illustrates the life of Montparnasse.

External links

  1. ^ fanfiction.net Charmer of the Shadows

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