Penguin is release a brand to translation of Eugene Sue's "The Mysteries of Paris", a 1400 page melodrama set in underworld Paris of the 1830s. Sue was the son of a surgeon in Napoleon's armies. After a failed medical career and stint in the French navy Sue decided to become an author. The Mysteries of Paris was published serially in Journal des débats from 19 June 1842 until 15 October 1843 in 90 installments.
"Translated from the French by Carolyn Betensky and Jonathan Loesberg the 1,400-page pulpy, sensationalist classic not only influenced “Les Miserables,” it also gave rise to a subgenre of Gothicky novels about the dark underside of big cities, including London, New Orleans and Philadelphia (George Lippard’s notorious “The Quaker City”). Aristocrats with secrets identities, a prostitute with a heart of gold, criminals nicknamed the Schoolmaster and the She-Wolf, an evil lawyer, thwarted love, blackmail and conspiracy — this is a sprawling novel that packs in everything and then adds more."