The Noble Bishop Summary

“The Noble Bishop” is a short story that portrays the transformation of a corrupt and self-indulgent bishop who undergoes a profound change when he encounters a poor, suffering woman. Initially consumed by greed and indifference, the bishop’s compassion and moral values are rekindled when he realizes the extent of the woman’s suffering. He sells his luxurious possessions to provide for her and, in doing so, undergoes a moral redemption. Read More Class 9 English Summaries.

The Noble Bishop Summary

The Noble Bishop Summary in English

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Jean Valjean lived with his sister along with her seven children. His was a poor family. One day his sister fell ill and the family starved. Jean Valjean searched for work every nook and corner but he could not get work. He couldn’t see the children starving. There was no help from anybody so he decided to steal. He stole some bread but he was sentenced to nineteen years in the galleys. His life was absolute hell then. They chained him like a wild animal. They treated him as beast they starved him and got work from him. He was not treated as a man. He tried to escape many times but in vain. He was caught each time and the court increased his sentence. He led the life of a prisoner for Nineteen years and he came out hardened.

He decided to work and make up his living but he didn’t get work. All sent him out without helping him. He wandered for three days without food. They treated him as a convict. Walking aimlessly and without food, he came to the house of a Bishop. Bishop’s sister Baptistine was ready to serve the dinner.

Jean Valjean (The convict) introduced himself to the Bishop and asked for food. The Bishop was very kind. He told his sister to put another place for Jean Valjean and also to put some sheets on the bet in the alcove. The Bishop addressed him as friend and told him to feel at home. There was a little lamp, which gave poor light. So the Bishop told his sister to bring silver candlesticks and light them. She brought them and served the dinner which consisted of soup, cheese, mutton and a large loaf of bread. The convict eats quickly. After that he told the Bishop his story.

The Bishop heard his story and told him to lie down and sleep on the couch. Accordingly Jean Valjean fell asleep but he woke up at the middle of the night because of his bed because the had not slept on a bed.

Then the clock struck two Jean Valjean started thinking about the silver ware. He wanted to steal them. So he’came to the adjacent room and observed that the rays of moonlight shone on the Bishop’s face. Then he were straight to the cup board, took the silver ware and escaped.

Baptiste brought the theft to the notice of her brother (The Bishop). The Bishop didn’t lose his temper. He only told that the silverware belonged to the poor. During this time, four policemen entered the house of the Bishop and they had brought Jean Valjean with them on seeing him, the Bishop told the policemen that he had given the sliver ware to the man. The police left him and went.

Jean Valjean looked at the Bishop with wonder and he didn’t find any words to describe the nobility of the Bishop. The Bishop told him to take all the candlesticks with him and his doors are always open for him. Jean Valjean thanked him and went. He led the life of an honest man and lived happily helping the poor people like himself.


In conclusion, “The Noble Bishop” serves as a powerful parable that highlights the potential for personal redemption and transformation through acts of compassion and selflessness. The bishop’s journey from greed and indifference to selflessness and moral righteousness underscores the idea that even those who have strayed from their virtuous paths can find their way back to nobility.

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