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Victor Hugo's 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' tops Amazon's bestseller chart hours after cathedral fire

Victor Hugo's 1831 novel 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' has shot to the top of Amazon France's bestseller list. Credit: AP

Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" has topped Amazon France's bestseller chart, just hours after a fire tore through the historic cathedral.

The 850-year-old cathedral suffered extensive damage during the blaze, which started last night and was only put out this morning.

Work is underway to assess the severity of the damage but it appears hundreds of book-lovers have decided to read Hugo's French Gothic novel.

Four of Amazon France's top 10 bestselling books are versions of Hugo's romantic novel, while number four and seven on the chart feature books which have the famous cathedral's name in their title.

Hugo's novel, which has inspired countless film remakes, including from Disney, is set in Paris in 1482 during the reign of King Louis XI.

The historical romance of hunchback Quaismodo, who follows tells the story of bellringer Quasimodo and his pursuit of the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda.

The top two bestselling book on Amazon France are Victor Hugo's 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'. Credit: AMAZON

Hugo describes the cathedral as a "central mother church . . . It has the head of one, the limbs of another, the haunches of another, something of all”.

The story has gone on to become a key text within French literature and is widely credited with helping to raise funds for the structure's refurbishment in the 19th century.