Les Misérables Wiki
Biographical information
Also Known As

Father Fauchelevent
Father Fauvent




Ultime Fauchelevent (brother)
Jean Valjean (benefactor and friend)


Carter (formerly)
Gardener at the Quartier Saint Antoine at Paris

Behind the scenes

Ian Calvin, Stephen Tate
Paul Préboist

Fauchelevent is a character in Les Misérables. He is rescued by Jean Valjean in "The Runaway Cart" and later assists him to escape Javert under a false name.


Fauchelevent was a business rival of Jean Valjean's. Due to the success of Valjean/Madeleine's business, Fauchelevenft was eventually driven to bankruptcy and took a job as a carter, being old and unmarried, with no children or other relations to rely on.

The Cart[]

One day, in an accident with his horse and cart, Fauchelevent was unlucky enough to get trapped under his cart in the mud. Any jack that could lift the cart off him was more than fifteen minutes away, and in five minutes he would either suffocate in the mud or be crushed by the cart. Valjean, or Madeleine as he was then known, a passerby, noticed his predicament and at first was too conflicted to help, trying to incite the other bystanders to help him instead. When it was clear that no one could help the old man in time, Valjean took it upon himself to lift the cart enough to allow others to drag Fauchelevent out safely.

Valjean gave him some money (under the guise of buying the dead horse and broken cart) and got him a position as a gardener in the Convent of Petit-Picpus.

From then on Fauchelevent no longer views Valjean as a rival, but instead as a benefactor.

The Convent[]

While escaping from Javert with Cosette, Valjean climbs over a wall and into the very garden Fauchelevent works in. Fauchelevent recognizes him and readily agrees to help the man who saved his life and ensured his livelihood.

Together, aided by the happy coincidence of a nun's funeral, they plan to smuggle Valjean out so he can enter officially. The nun, Mother Crucifixion, expressed the dying wish of being buried in the unused burial vault under the altar, which is illegal. Nonetheless, the other nuns want to honor this wish, and so recruit Fauchelevent: he will bury Mother Crucifixion in the coffin she used for a bed, while the nuns ensure that the empty coffin provided by the government is a perfect decoy with no one the wiser.

Valjean sees the opportunity in this and persuades Fauchelevent to conceal him inside the decoy coffin, which is then taken outside the convent to the cemetery. Cosette is taken care of; Fauchelevent carries her out in a basket while he does some errands, sequestering her with an old fruit-seller he knows. The old gravedigger, Father Mestienne, a friend of Fauchelevent's and an alcoholic, has died, however, and the plan almost falls through, since they were relying on Mestienne's alcoholism to convince him to neglect his job tonight. Fauchelevent, talking fast, manages to rid the cemetery of the new gravedigger, Gribier, and is devastated when Valjean doesn't respond to his calls, seemingly dead.

He nearly gets a heart attack when the 'corpse' opens his eyes and stares right back at him. (Valjean had merely fainted from the lack of air, and even when he wakes is a little light-headed.) However, the plan has succeeded after all, and they happily visit Gribier, to resolve the issue that Fauchelevent invented to send him out, and the old fruit-seller, to pick up Cosette.

He vouches for Valjean, who is admitted into the convent as the second gardener, and gives him the name Ultime, which is the real name of his deceased brother. He introduces Cosette as 'Ultime's' granddaughter, but doesn't feel the need to change her name. (The girl herself continues to address 'Ultime' as her father, unaware of their supposed roles.)

He dies before Valjean and Cosette leave the convent in 1829.