Most people are familiar with Victor Hugo's masterpiece The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Various versions have been made, one of the most famous is the 1939 movie in which Charles Laughton plays Quasimodo. Even Disney produced a cartoon, sanitized for young viewers.
Contrary to the stories appearing on film, in Hugo's novel Quasimodo is a gypsy changeling who is exorcised and then left as a deformed foundling at Notre-Dame. The gypsy Esmeralda is ultimately executed by hanging at Montfaucon, Paris' most famous gibbet which was usually covered in carrion crows who pecked at the various corpses left there to rot.
In 1999, the discovery of a diary in Cornwall appears to reveal the real-life inspiration behind the character of Quasimodo the deaf bell-ringer of Notre Dame, and his tragic, unrequited love for the gypsy girl Esmeralda.
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