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December 1823 (aged 28)
|Cause of Death||
Félix Tholomyès (lover)
Factory worker; Needlewoman (formerly)
Fantine is born in Montreuil-sur-Mer, in 1797, but her parents remain unknown. She is abandoned by her lover, Félix Tholomyès, when she is twenty. Subsequently, she is unable to take care of her daughter, Cosette. In 1818, when Cosette is "nearly three", Fantine leaves her in the care of the Thénardiers, who are innkeepers in a village called Montfermeil. Unfortunately, Madame Thénardier spoils her own daughters, Éponine and Azelma, while abusing and overworking Cosette. Meanwhile the Thénardiers continue to send Fantine letters claiming that Cosette is being well-treated, but that she is always ill and requires money to be treated. Fantine falls for their tricks and continues to send money, which the Thénardiers use for their own interest and to further indulge their own children.Fantine finds work at Monsieur Madeleine's factory, and, being illiterate aside from being able to write her own name, has other people write her letters to the Thénardiers. In 1822, a female supervisor who discovers that she has an illegitimate child fires her, as having children yet being unmarried was highly scandalous at the time.
To meet repeated demands for money from the Thénardiers, she sells her hair, then her two back teeth (does not say which), and is finally forced to become a prostitute.
Over time, she becomes fatally ill with tuberculosis. Valjean learns of her situation when Inspector Javert arrests her for attacking a man who called her insulting names and threw snow down her front, and sends her to a hospital. She spends several weeks in the hospital, delirious and thinking of her daughter. Valjean promises to look after Cosette in her place. Later, when Javert confronts Valjean in her hospital room, because her illness has made her so weak, she dies of shock after Javert reveals that Valjean is really a prisoner and has not brought Cosette to her (after the doctor encouraged that incorrect belief that Valjean's recent absence was because he was bringing her daughter to her).
- Polish form of her name is "Fantyna"
- So far, Laurie Beechman and Minako Honda (who was originally going to play Fantine in 2005) are the only musical portrayers of Fantine to pass away.
For more photos of Fantine, click here.