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A well-known custom in fifteenth century Paris was for churches to display orphaned-babies to the common people for the purpose of eliciting charity. Sometimes these orphaned children would be adopted and given homes. One Sunday in 1467, one such orphan was presented to the people. The baby was deformed and so ugly that many of the women call the child a demon. Some of them suggest that he should be drowned or burned. A young priest named Claude Frollo declared that he would adopt the deformed baby. The astonished crowd wondered whether Frollo was a sorcerer rather than a priest.
In this chapter, the story of Quasimodo’s adoption by Frollo is revealed. Born deformed and horribly ugly, Quasimodo is abandoned as an infant. Taken in by the church, he is presented for adoption. The women, who are horrified by his appearance, call him a demon child and want nothing to do with him. Frollo, then a young priest, decides he will adopt the deformed infant, to the amazement of everyone.