Les Miserables


Part one: THE BISHOP

Broadcast on:
July 23, 1937

In this episode, set in France in 1815, Jean Valjean (Welles), just released from prison after serving five years for stealing a loaf of bread and 14 more years for attempted escapes, is scorned by the townspeople because of his dangerous reputation. Valjean is nonetheless treated kindly by the Bishop of Digne, who invites him to dinner and to sleep in his house. Valjean reciprocates by stealing the Bishop's silver. He gets caught, but the Bishop tells the police he gave the silver to Valjean. Deeply moved by the Bishop's generosity, Valjean resolves to start a new life.

Chap. 1 - The Bishop

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Mercury Theatre

All eighteen surviving broadcasts from the Mercury Theatre on the Air, free to listen to and download.

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Les Miserables

Welles's interpretation of Hugo's epic tale, which inspired CBS to commission the Mercury Theatre.

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Original scripts, other Welles recordings, further reading and lots more besides.

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"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone."

Orson Welles