Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

Overview
Victor-Marie Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...


poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 activist and exponent of the Romantic movement
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 in France.

In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles
La Légende des siècles
La Légende des siècles is a collection of poems by Victor Hugo, conceived as an immense depiction of the history and evolution of humanity....

 stand particularly high in critical esteem, and Hugo is sometimes identified as the greatest French poet.
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Quotations

I will be François-René de Chateaubriand|Chateaubriand or nothing.

Written the age of 15 in one of his notebooks (c. 1817), as quoted in The Literary Movement in France During the Nineteenth Century (1897) by Georges Pellissier
Encyclopedia
Victor-Marie Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...


poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 activist and exponent of the Romantic movement
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 in France.

In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles
La Légende des siècles
La Légende des siècles is a collection of poems by Victor Hugo, conceived as an immense depiction of the history and evolution of humanity....

 stand particularly high in critical esteem, and Hugo is sometimes identified as the greatest French poet. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables
Les Misérables
Les Misérables , translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century...

 and Notre-Dame de Paris (also known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame).

Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views refined as the decades passed; he became a passionate supporter of republicanism
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

, and his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and artistic trends of his time. He is buried in the Panthéon
Pantheon
-Mythology:* Pantheon , the set of gods belonging to a particular mythology* Pantheon * Pantheon, Rome, now a Catholic church, once a temple to the gods of ancient Rome* Any temple dedicated to an entire pantheon-Other buildings:...

.

Life


Hugo was the third, illegitimate, son of Joseph Léopold Sigisbert Hugo (1774–1828) and Sophie Trébuchet (1772–1821); his brothers were Abel Joseph Hugo (1798–1855) and Eugène Hugo (1800–1837). He was born in 1802 in Besançon
Besançon
Besançon , is the capital and principal city of the Franche-Comté region in eastern France. It had a population of about 237,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area in 2008...

 (in the region of Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté
Franche-Comté the former "Free County" of Burgundy, as distinct from the neighbouring Duchy, is an administrative region and a traditional province of eastern France...

) and lived in France for the majority of his life. However, he decided to live in exile as a result of Napoleon III's Coup d'état
French coup of 1851
The French coup d'état on 2 December 1851, staged by Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte , ended in the successful dissolution of the French National Assembly, as well as the subsequent re-establishment of the French Empire the next year...

 at the end of 1851. Hugo lived briefly in Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 (1851) then moved to the Channel Islands, firstly to Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

 (1852–55) and then to the smaller island of Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

 (1855–1870). Although a general amnesty was proclaimed by Napoleon III in 1859; Hugo stayed in exile, only ending it when Napoleon III was forced from power as a result of the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

. Hugo returned again to Guernsey (1872–73), after suffering through the Siege of Paris
Siege of Paris
The Siege of Paris, lasting from September 19, 1870 – January 28, 1871, and the consequent capture of the city by Prussian forces led to French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the establishment of the German Empire as well as the Paris Commune....

, before finally returning to France for the remainder of his life.

Hugo's early childhood was marked by great events. Napoléon was proclaimed Emperor two years after Hugo's birth, and the Bourbon Monarchy was restored before his thirteenth birthday. The opposing political and religious views of Hugo's parents reflected the forces that would battle for supremacy in France throughout his life: Hugo's father was an officer who ranked very high in Napoleon's army until he failed in Spain (one of the reasons why his name is not present on the Arc de Triomphe). He was an atheist
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 republican
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

 who considered Napoléon a hero; his mother was an extreme Catholic Royalist
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 who is believed to have taken as her lover General Victor Lahorie
Victor Lahorie
Victor Claude Alexandre Fanneau de Lahorie was a French general who served during the First Empire....

, executed in 1812 for plotting against Napoléon. Since Hugo's father, Joseph, was an officer, they moved frequently and Hugo learned much from these travels. On his family's journey to Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, he saw the vast Alpine
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

 passes and the snowy peaks, the magnificently blue Mediterranean, and Rome during its festivities. Though he was only nearly six at the time, he remembered the half-year-long trip vividly. They stayed in Naples for a few months and then headed back to Paris.

Sophie followed her husband to posts in Italy (where Léopold served as a governor of a province near Naples) and Spain (where he took charge of three Spanish provinces). Weary of the constant moving required by military life, and at odds with her husband's lack of Catholic beliefs, Sophie separated temporarily from Léopold in 1803 and settled in Paris. Thereafter she dominated Hugo's education and upbringing. As a result, Hugo's early work in poetry and fiction reflect a passionate devotion to both King
Monarchism
Monarchism is the advocacy of the establishment, preservation, or restoration of a monarchy as a form of government in a nation. A monarchist is an individual who supports this form of government out of principle, independent from the person, the Monarch.In this system, the Monarch may be the...

 and Faith
Faith in Christianity
Faith, in Christianity, has been most commonly defined by the biblical formulation in the Letter to the Hebrews as "'the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen". Most of the definitions in the history of Christian theology have followed this biblical formulation...

. It was only later, during the events leading up to France's 1848 Revolution, that he would begin to rebel against his Catholic Royalist education and instead champion Republicanism and Freethought
Freethought
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or other dogmas...

.

Young Victor fell in love and against his mother's wishes, became secretly engaged to his childhood friend Adèle Foucher (1803–1868).

Unusually close to his mother, he married Adèle (in 1822) only after his mother's death in 1821. They had their first child Léopold in 1823, but the boy died in infancy. Hugo's other children were Léopoldine
Léopoldine Hugo
Léopoldine Cécile Marie-Pierre Catherine Hugo, born in Paris 28 August 1824 and died in Villequier on 4 September 1843, was the daughter of novelist, poet and dramatist Victor Hugo and his wife, Adèle Foucher....

 (28 August 1824), Charles (4 November 1826), François-Victor (28 October 1828) and Adèle
Adèle Hugo
Adèle Hugo was the fifth child of French writer Victor Hugo.Her story inspired the 1975 biographical film The Story of Adele H., directed by François Truffaut.-References:...

 (24 August 1830). Hugo published his first novel the following year (Han d'Islande, 1823), and his second three years later (Bug-Jargal
Bug-Jargal
Bug-Jargal is a novel by the French writer Victor Hugo. First published in 1826, it is a reworked version of an earlier short story of the same name published in the Hugo brothers' magazine Le Conservateur littéraire in 1820...

, 1826). Between 1829 and 1840 he would publish five more volumes of poetry (Les Orientales
Les Orientales
Les Orientales is a collection of poems by Victor Hugo, inspired by the Greek War of Independence. They were first published in January 1829.Of the forty-one poems, thirty-six were written during 1828...

, 1829; Les Feuilles d'automne, 1831; Les Chants du crépuscule, 1835; Les Voix intérieures, 1837; and Les Rayons et les ombres, 1840), cementing his reputation as one of the greatest elegiac and lyric poets of his time.

Victor Hugo was devastated when his oldest and favorite daughter, Léopoldine, died at age 19 in 1843, shortly after her marriage. She drowned in the Seine at Villequier, pulled down by her heavy skirts, when a boat overturned. Her young husband Charles Vacquerie
Charles Vacquerie
Charles Vacquerie was a notable figure in the circle of Victor Hugo, his father-in-law.-Life:...

 also died trying to save her. Victor Hugo was traveling with his mistress at the time in the south of France, and learned about Léopoldine's death from a newspaper as he sat in a cafe. He describes his shock and grief in his poem À Villequier:

Hélas ! vers le passé tournant un oeil d'envie,

Sans que rien ici-bas puisse m'en consoler,

Je regarde toujours ce moment de ma vie

Où je l'ai vue ouvrir son aile et s'envoler !

Je verrai cet instant jusqu'à ce que je meure,

L'instant, pleurs superflus !

Où je criai : L'enfant que j'avais tout à l'heure,

Quoi donc ! je ne l'ai plus !
Alas! turning an envious eye towards the past,

unconsolable by anything on earth,

I keep looking at that moment of my life

when I saw her open her wings and fly away!

I will see that instant until I die,

that instant—too much for tears!

when I cried out: "The child that I had just now--

what! I don't have her any more!"

He wrote many poems afterwards about his daughter's life and death, and at least one biographer claims he never completely recovered from it. His most famous poem is probably Demain, dès l'aube, in which he describes visiting her grave.

Writings



Like many young writers of his generation, Hugo was profoundly influenced by François-René de Chateaubriand
François-René de Chateaubriand
François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand was a French writer, politician, diplomat and historian. He is considered the founder of Romanticism in French literature.-Early life and exile:...

, the famous figure in the literary movement of Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 and France's preëminent literary figure during the early 19th century. In his youth, Hugo resolved to be "Chateaubriand or nothing," and his life would come to parallel that of his predecessor in many ways. Like Chateaubriand, Hugo would further the cause of Romanticism, become involved in politics as a champion of Republicanism
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

, and be forced into exile due to his political stances. The precocious passion and eloquence of Hugo's early work brought success and fame at an early age. His first collection of poetry (Odes et poésies diverses) was published in 1822, when Hugo was only twenty years old, and earned him a royal pension from Louis XVIII
Louis XVIII of France
Louis XVIII , known as "the Unavoidable", was King of France and of Navarre from 1814 to 1824, omitting the Hundred Days in 1815...

. Though the poems were admired for their spontaneous fervor and fluency, it was the collection that followed four years later in 1826 (Odes et Ballades
Odes et Ballades
Odes et Ballades, published in 1828, is the most complete version of a collection of poems by Victor Hugo written and published between 1822 and 1828. It includes five books of odes and one book of ballads....

) that revealed Hugo to be a great poet, a natural master of lyric and creative song.

Victor Hugo's first mature work of fiction appeared in 1829, and reflected the acute social conscience that would infuse his later work. Le Dernier jour d'un condamné (The Last Day of a Condemned Man) would have a profound influence on later writers such as Albert Camus
Albert Camus
Albert Camus was a French author, journalist, and key philosopher of the 20th century. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement, which was opposed to some tendencies of the Surrealist movement of André Breton.Camus was awarded the 1957...

, Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

, and Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky was a Russian writer of novels, short stories and essays. He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov....

. Claude Gueux
Claude Gueux
Claude Gueux was a short story written by Victor Hugo in 1834. It is considered an early example of "true crime" fiction, and contains Hugo's early thoughts on societal injustice which thirty years later he would flesh out in his novel Les Misérables...

, a documentary short story about a real-life murderer who had been executed in France, appeared in 1834, and was later considered by Hugo himself to be a precursor to his great work on social injustice, Les Misérables
Les Misérables
Les Misérables , translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century...

. But Hugo's first full-length novel would be the enormously successful Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), which was published in 1831 and quickly translated into other languages across Europe. One of the effects of the novel was to shame the City of Paris into restoring the much-neglected Cathedral of Notre Dame
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris , also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris: that is, it is the church that contains the cathedra of...

, which was attracting thousands of tourists who had read the popular novel. The book also inspired a renewed appreciation for pre-renaissance buildings, which thereafter began to be actively preserved.
Hugo began planning a major novel about social misery and injustice as early as the 1830s, but it would take a full 17 years for Les Misérables
Les Misérables
Les Misérables , translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century...

, to be realized and finally published in 1862. Hugo was acutely aware of the quality of the novel and publication of the work went to the highest bidder. The Belgian publishing house Lacroix and Verboeckhoven undertook a marketing campaign unusual for the time, issuing press releases about the work a full six months before the launch. It also initially published only the first part of the novel ("Fantine"), which was launched simultaneously in major cities. Installments of the book sold out within hours, and had enormous impact on French society. The critical establishment was generally hostile to the novel; Taine
Hippolyte Taine
Hippolyte Adolphe Taine was a French critic and historian. He was the chief theoretical influence of French naturalism, a major proponent of sociological positivism, and one of the first practitioners of historicist criticism. Literary historicism as a critical movement has been said to originate...

 found it insincere, Barbey d'Aurevilly complained of its vulgarity, Flaubert found within it "neither truth nor greatness", the Goncourts
Goncourt brothers
The Goncourt brothers were Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt , both French naturalist writers. They formed a partnership that "is possibly unique in literary history...

 lambasted its artificiality, and Baudelaire – despite giving favorable reviews in newspapers – castigated it in private as "tasteless and inept." Les Misérables proved popular enough with the masses that the issues it highlighted were soon on the agenda of the French National Assembly
National Assembly
National Assembly is either a legislature, or the lower house of a bicameral legislature in some countries. The best known National Assembly, and the first legislature to be known by this title, was that established during the French Revolution in 1789, known as the Assemblée nationale...

. Today the novel remains his most enduringly popular work. It is popular worldwide, has been adapted for cinema, television and stage shows.

The shortest correspondence in history is said to have been between Hugo and his publisher Hurst & Blackett in 1862. It is said Hugo was on vacation when Les Misérables (which is over 1200 pages) was published. He sent a letter containing the single-character message '?' to his publisher, who replied with a single '!'.

Hugo turned away from social/political issues in his next novel, Les Travailleurs de la Mer (Toilers of the Sea
Toilers of the Sea
Toilers of the Sea , is a novel by Victor Hugo.The book is dedicated to the island of Guernsey, where Hugo spent 15 years in exile.The story concerns a Guernseyman named Gilliatt, a social outcast who falls in love with Deruchette, the niece of a local shipowner, Mess Lethierry...

), published in 1866. Nonetheless, the book was well received, perhaps due to the previous success of Les Misérables. Dedicated to the channel island of Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

 where he spent 15 years of exile, Hugo's depiction of Man's battle with the sea and the horrible creatures lurking beneath its depths spawned an unusual fad in Paris: Squid
Squid
Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

s. From squid dishes and exhibitions, to squid hats and parties, Parisians became fascinated by these unusual sea creatures, which at the time were still considered by many to be mythical. The word used in Guernsey to refer to squid (pieuvre, also sometimes applied to octopus) was to enter the French language as a result of its use in the book. Hugo returned to political and social issues in his next novel, L'Homme Qui Rit (The Man Who Laughs
The Man Who Laughs
The Man Who Laughs is a novel by Victor Hugo, originally published in April 1869 under the French title L'Homme qui rit. Also published under the title By Order of the King...

), which was published in 1869 and painted a critical picture of the aristocracy. However, the novel was not as successful as his previous efforts, and Hugo himself began to comment on the growing distance between himself and literary contemporaries such as Flaubert and Émile Zola
Émile Zola
Émile François Zola was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism...

, whose realist and naturalist
Naturalism (literature)
Naturalism was a literary movement taking place from the 1880s to 1940s that used detailed realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character...

 novels were now exceeding the popularity of his own work. His last novel, Quatre-vingt-treize (Ninety-Three
Ninety-Three
Ninety-Three is the last novel by the French writer Victor Hugo. Published in 1874, shortly after the bloody upheaval of the Paris Commune, the novel concerns the Revolt in the Vendée and Chouannerie – the counter-revolutionary revolts in 1793 during the French Revolution...

), published in 1874, dealt with a subject that Hugo had previously avoided: the Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
The Reign of Terror , also known simply as The Terror , was a period of violence that occurred after the onset of the French Revolution, incited by conflict between rival political factions, the Girondins and the Jacobins, and marked by mass executions of "enemies of...

 during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. Though Hugo's popularity was on the decline at the time of its publication, many now consider Ninety-Three to be a work on par with Hugo's better-known novels.

Political life and exile


After three unsuccessful attempts, Hugo was finally elected to the Académie française
Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

 in 1841, solidifying his position in the world of French arts and letters. A group of French academiciens, particularly Etienne de Jouy, were fighting against the "romantic evolution" and had managed to delay Victor Hugo's election. Thereafter he became increasingly involved in French politics. He was elevated to the peerage by King Louis-Philippe in 1841 and entered the Higher Chamber as a pair de France, where he spoke against the death penalty and social injustice, and in favour of freedom of the press
Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

 and self-government for Poland. However, he was also becoming more supportive of the Republican form of government and, following the 1848 Revolution and the formation of the Second Republic
French Second Republic
The French Second Republic was the republican government of France between the 1848 Revolution and the coup by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte which initiated the Second Empire. It officially adopted the motto Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité...

, was elected to the Constitutional Assembly and the Legislative Assembly.
When Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III) seized complete power in 1851
French coup of 1851
The French coup d'état on 2 December 1851, staged by Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte , ended in the successful dissolution of the French National Assembly, as well as the subsequent re-establishment of the French Empire the next year...

, establishing an anti-parliamentary constitution, Hugo openly declared him a traitor to France. He relocated to Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, then Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

, and finally settled with his family at Hauteville House
Hauteville House
Hauteville House is a house where Victor Hugo lived during his exile from France, located at 38 Rue Hauteville in St. Peter Port in Guernsey. The house was donated to the City of Paris by Hugo's descendants in March, 1927...

 in Saint Peter Port, Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

, where he would live in exile until 1870.

While in exile, Hugo published his famous political pamphlets against Napoleon III, Napoléon le Petit
Napoléon le Petit
Napoleon le Petit was an influential political pamphlet by Victor Hugo which condemned the reign of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. Hugo lived in exile in Guernsey for most of Napoleon III's reign, and his criticism of the monarch was significant as he was one of the most prominent Frenchmen...

 and Histoire d'un crime
Histoire d'un crime
The History of a Crime is a novel by Victor Hugo about Napoleon III's takeover of France.- External links :...

. The pamphlets were banned in France, but nonetheless had a strong impact there. He also composed or published some of his best work during his period in Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

, including Les Misérables
Les Misérables
Les Misérables , translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century...

, and three widely praised collections of poetry (Les Châtiments
Les Châtiments
Les Châtiments is a collection of poems by Victor Hugo that fiercely attack the grandeur of Napoléon III's Second Empire.- Historical background :...

, 1853; Les Contemplations, 1856; and La Légende des siècles
La Légende des siècles
La Légende des siècles is a collection of poems by Victor Hugo, conceived as an immense depiction of the history and evolution of humanity....

, 1859).

He convinced the government of Queen Victoria to spare the lives of six Irish people convicted of terrorist activities and his influence was credited in the removal of the death penalty from the constitutions of Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, Portugal and Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

. He had also pleaded for Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez born Benito Pablo Juárez García, was a Mexican lawyer and politician of Zapotec origin from Oaxaca who served five terms as president of Mexico: 1858–1861 as interim, 1861–1865, 1865–1867, 1867–1871 and 1871–1872...

 to spare the recently captured emperor Maximilian I of Mexico
Maximilian I of Mexico
Maximilian I was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire.After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy, he was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico on April 10, 1864, with the backing of Napoleon III of France and a group of Mexican monarchists who sought to revive the Mexican monarchy...

 but to no avail. His complete archives (published by Pauvert) show also that he wrote a letter asking the USA, for the sake of their own reputation in the future, to spare John Brown's
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

 life, but the letter arrived after Brown was executed.

Although Napoleon III granted an amnesty to all political exiles in 1859, Hugo declined, as it meant he would have to curtail his criticisms of the government. It was only after Napoleon III fell from power and the Third Republic
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 was proclaimed that Hugo finally returned to his homeland in 1870, where he was promptly elected to the National Assembly and the Senate.

He was in Paris during the siege by the Prussian army in 1870
Siege of Paris
The Siege of Paris, lasting from September 19, 1870 – January 28, 1871, and the consequent capture of the city by Prussian forces led to French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the establishment of the German Empire as well as the Paris Commune....

, famously eating animals given to him by the Paris zoo. As the siege continued, and food became ever more scarce, he wrote in his diary that he was reduced to "eating the unknown."

Because of his concern for the rights of artists and copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

, he was a founding member of the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale
Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale
Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale was founded 1878 in Paris. Victor Hugo was the honorary president and founder of the association. The group gave itself the objective of creating an international convention for the protection of writers' and artists' rights, which was...

, which led to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886.- Content :...

. However, in Pauvert's published archives, he states strongly that "any work of art has two authors : the people who confusely feels something, a creator who translates these feelings, and the people again who consecrates his vision of that feeling. When one of the authors dies, the rights should totally be granted back to the other, the people".

Religious views


Hugo's religious views changed radically over the course of his life. In his youth, he identified himself as a Catholic and professed respect for Church hierarchy and authority. From there he became a non-practicing Catholic, and increasingly expressed anti-Catholic and anti-clerical views. He frequented Spiritism
Spiritism
Spiritism is a loose corpus of religious faiths having in common the general belief in the survival of a spirit after death. In a stricter sense, it is the religion, beliefs and practices of the people affiliated to the International Spiritist Union, based on the works of Allan Kardec and others...

 during his exile (where he participated also in many séance
Séance
A séance is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word "séance" comes from the French word for "seat," "session" or "sitting," from the Old French "seoir," "to sit." In French, the word's meaning is quite general: one may, for example, speak of "une séance de cinéma"...

s conducted by Madame Delphine de Girardin), and in later years settled into a Rationalist Deism
Deism
Deism in religious philosophy is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organized religion, can determine that the universe is the product of an all-powerful creator. According to deists, the creator does not intervene in human affairs or suspend the...

 similar to that espoused by Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

. A census-taker asked Hugo in 1872 if he was a Catholic, and he replied, "No. A Freethinker
Freethought
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or other dogmas...

".

After that point, Hugo never lost his antipathy towards the Catholic Church, due largely to what he saw as the Church's indifference to the plight of the working class under the oppression of the monarchy; and perhaps also due to the frequency with which Hugo's work appeared on the Church's Index Librorum Prohibitorum
Index Librorum Prohibitorum
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. A first version was promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1559, and a revised and somewhat relaxed form was authorized at the Council of Trent...

 (Hugo counted 740 attacks on Les Misérables in the Catholic press). On the deaths of his sons Charles and François-Victor, he insisted that they be buried without a crucifix
Crucifix
A crucifix is an independent image of Jesus on the cross with a representation of Jesus' body, referred to in English as the corpus , as distinct from a cross with no body....

 or priest, and in his will made the same stipulation about his own death and funeral. However, although Hugo believed Catholic dogma
Dogma
Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

 to be outdated and dying, he never directly attacked the actual doctrines of the Church.

Hugo's Rationalism
Rationalism
In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" . In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive"...

 can be found in poems such as Torquemada (1869, about religious fanaticism
Religious fanaticism
Religious fanaticism is fanaticism related to a person's, or a group's, devotion to a religion. However, religious fanaticism is a subjective evaluation defined by the culture context that is performing the evaluation. What constitutes fanaticism in another's behavior or belief is determined by the...

), The Pope (1878, anti-clerical), Religions and Religion (1880, denying the usefulness of churches) and, published posthumously, The End of Satan and God (1886 and 1891 respectively, in which he represents Christianity as a griffin and Rationalism
Rationalism
In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" . In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive"...

 as an angel). "Religions pass away, but God remains", Hugo declared. Christianity would eventually disappear, he predicted, but people would still believe in "God, Soul, and the Power."

Victor Hugo and music



Although Hugo's many talents did not include exceptional musical ability, he nevertheless had a great impact on the music world through the inspiration that his works provided for composers of the 19th and 20th century. Hugo himself particularly enjoyed the music of Gluck and Weber
Carl Maria von Weber
Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school....

 and greatly admired Beethoven, and rather unusually for his time, he also appreciated works by composers from earlier centuries such as Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition...

 and Monteverdi. Two famous musicians of the 19th century were friends of Hugo: Berlioz and Liszt
Liszt
Liszt is a Hungarian surname. Notable persons with that surname include:* Franz Liszt , Hungarian composer and pianist* Adam Liszt , father of Franz Liszt* Anna Liszt , mother of Franz Liszt...

. The latter played Beethoven in Hugo's home, and Hugo joked in a letter to a friend that thanks to Liszt's piano lessons, he learned how to play a favourite song on the piano – even though only with one finger! Hugo also worked with composer Louise Bertin
Louise Bertin
Louise-Angélique Bertin was a French composer and poet.Louise Bertin lived her entire life in France. Her father, Louis-François Bertin, and also her brother later on, were the editors of Journal des débats, an influential newspaper. As encouraged by her family, Bertin pursued music...

, writing the libretto for her 1836 opera La Esmeralda which was based on the character in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Although for various reasons the opera closed soon after its fifth performance and is little known today, it has been recently enjoying a revival, both in a piano/song concert version by Liszt at the Festival international Victor Hugo et Égaux 2007 and in a full orchestral version presented in July 2008 at Le Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon.

Well over one thousand musical compositions have been inspired by Hugo's works from the 19th century until the present day. In particular, Hugo's plays, in which he rejected the rules of classical theatre in favour of romantic drama, attracted the interest of many composers who adapted them into operas. More than one hundred operas are based on Hugo's works and among them are Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia
Lucrezia Borgia (opera)
Lucrezia Borgia is a melodramma, or opera, in a prologue and two acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto after the play by Victor Hugo, in its turn after the legend of Lucrezia Borgia. Lucrezia Borgia was first performed on 26 December 1833 at La Scala, Milan with...

 (1833), Verdi's Rigoletto
Rigoletto
Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851...

 (1851) and Ernani (1844), and Ponchielli's La Gioconda
La Gioconda (opera)
La Gioconda is an opera in four acts by Amilcare Ponchielli set to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Angelo, tyran de Padoue, a play in prose by Victor Hugo, dating from 1835...

 (1876). Hugo's novels as well as his plays have been a great source of inspiration for musicians, stirring them to create not only opera and ballet but musical theatre such as Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris (musical)
Notre-Dame de Paris is a sung-through French-Canadian musical which debuted on 16 September 1998 in Paris. It is based upon the novel Notre-Dame de Paris by the French novelist Victor Hugo...

 and the ever-popular Les Misérables
Les Misérables (musical)
Les Misérables , colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz , is a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg, based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo....

, London West End
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

's longest running musical. Additionally, Hugo's beautiful poems have attracted an exceptional amount of interest from musicians, and numerous melodies have been based on his poetry by composers such as Berlioz, Bizet, Fauré
Faure
Faure or Fauré is a French family name and may refer to:People:* Edgar Faure, French politician* Élie Faure, French art historian and essayist* Émile Alphonse Faure, lead battery pioneer* Cédric Fauré, French football striker...

, Franck
César Franck
César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life....

, Lalo, Liszt, Massenet, Saint-Saëns
Camille Saint-Saëns
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French Late-Romantic composer, organist, conductor, and pianist. He is known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah, Piano Concerto No. 2, Cello Concerto No. 1, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony...

, Rachmaninov and Wagner.

Today, Hugo's work continues to stimulate musicians to create new compositions. For example, Hugo's novel against capital punishment, The Last Day of a Condemned Man, has recently been adapted into an opera by David Alagna (libretto by Frédérico Alagna). Their brother, tenor Roberto Alagna
Roberto Alagna
Roberto Alagna is a French-Italian tenor. He was born in Clichy-sous-Bois, Seine-Saint-Denis, France.-Early years:Alagna was born outside of the city of Paris in 1963 to a family of Sicilian immigrants . As a teenager, the young Alagna began busking and singing pop in Parisian cabarets for tips...

, performed in the opera's premiere in Paris in the summer of 2007 and again in February 2008 in Valencia with Erwin Schrott as part of the Festival international Victor Hugo et Égaux 2008. In Guernsey, every two years the Victor Hugo International Music Festival attracts a wide range of musicians and the premiere of songs specially commissioned from such composers as Guillaume Connesson
Guillaume Connesson
Guillaume Connesson is a French composer born in 1970 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.- Biography :Connesson studied the piano, music theory, music history and choir conducting in Conservatoire National de Région in Boulogne-Billancourt and composition by Marcel Landowski during six years from...

, Richard Dubugnon, Olivier Kaspar and Thierry Escaich
Thierry Escaich
Thierry Escaich, born 8 May 1965 in Nogent-sur-Marne, is a French organist and composer.-Life:Born in 1965, Thierry Escaich studied organ, improvisation and composition at the Paris Conservatory , where he won 8 “first prizes” and where he has taught improvisation and composition since...

 and based on Hugo's poetry.

Declining years and death



When Hugo returned to Paris in 1870, the country hailed him as a national hero. Despite his popularity Hugo lost his bid for reelection to the National Assembly in 1872. Within a brief period, he suffered a mild stroke, his daughter Adèle's internment in an insane asylum, and the death of his two sons. (Adèle's biography inspired the movie The Story of Adele H.
The Story of Adele H.
The Story of Adele H. is a 1975 French film which tells the story of the real-life Adèle Hugo, the daughter of writer Victor Hugo, whose obsessive unrequited love for a military officer led to her downfall. The film, told in French and English, is based on her diaries...

) His wife Adèle had died in 1868. His faithful mistress, Juliette Drouet
Juliette Drouet
Juliette Drouet, born Julienne Josephine Gauvain was a French actress. She abandoned her career on the stage after becoming the mistress of Victor Hugo, to whom she acted as a secretary and travelling companion...

, died in 1883, only two years before his own death. Despite his personal loss, Hugo remained committed to the cause of political change. On 30 January 1876 Hugo was elected to the newly created Senate. The last phase of his political career is considered a failure. Hugo took on the role of a maverick and got little done in the Senate.

In February 1881 Hugo celebrated his 79th birthday. To honor the fact that he was entering his eightieth year, one of the greatest tributes to a living writer was held. The celebrations began on the 25th when Hugo was presented with a Sèvres
Manufacture nationale de Sèvres
The manufacture nationale de Sèvres is a Frit porcelain porcelain tendre factory at Sèvres, France. Formerly a royal, then an imperial factory, the facility is now run by the Ministry of Culture.-Brief history:...

 vase, the traditional gift for sovereigns. On the 27th one of the largest parades in French history was held. Marchers stretched from Avenue d'Eylau, down the Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets and one of the most expensive strip of real estate in the world. The name is...

, and all the way to the center of Paris. The paraders marched for six hours to pass Hugo as he sat in the window at his house. Every inch and detail of the event was for Hugo; the official guides even wore cornflowers as an allusion to Fantine's song in Les Misérables.

Victor Hugo's death on 22 May 1885, at the age of 83, generated intense national mourning. He was not only revered as a towering figure in literature, he was a statesman who shaped the Third Republic
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 and democracy in France. More than two million people joined his funeral procession in Paris from the Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
-The design:The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin , in the Neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture . Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire...

 to the Panthéon
Pantheon
-Mythology:* Pantheon , the set of gods belonging to a particular mythology* Pantheon * Pantheon, Rome, now a Catholic church, once a temple to the gods of ancient Rome* Any temple dedicated to an entire pantheon-Other buildings:...

, where he was buried. He shares a crypt within the Panthéon with Alexandre Dumas and Émile Zola. Most large French towns and cities have a street named for him. The avenue where he died, in Paris, now bears his name.

His last will


He left a set of five sentences as his last will to be officially published :

« Je donne cinquante mille francs aux pauvres. Je veux être enterré dans leur corbillard.

Je refuse l'oraison de toutes les Eglises. Je demande une prière à toutes les âmes.

Je crois en Dieu. »

(I leave 50 000 francs to the poor. I want to be buried in their hearse.

I refuse [funeral] orations of all churches. I beg a prayer to all souls.

I believe in God.)

Drawings


Victor Hugo was a prolific visual artist, producing more than 4,000 drawings in his lifetime. Originally pursued as a casual hobby, drawing became more important to Hugo shortly before his exile, when he made the decision to stop writing in order to devote himself to politics. Drawing became his exclusive creative outlet during the period 1848–1851.

Hugo worked only on paper, and on a small scale; usually in dark brown or black pen-and-ink wash, sometimes with touches of white, and rarely with color. The surviving drawings are surprisingly accomplished and "modern" in their style and execution, foreshadowing the experimental techniques of Surrealism
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

 and Abstract Expressionism
Abstract expressionism
Abstract expressionism was an American post–World War II art movement. It was the first specifically American movement to achieve worldwide influence and put New York City at the center of the western art world, a role formerly filled by Paris...

.

He would not hesitate to use his children's stencils, ink blots, puddles and stains, lace impressions, "pliage" or folding (i.e. Rorschach blots), "grattage" or rubbing, often using the charcoal from match sticks or his fingers instead of pen or brush. Sometimes he would even toss in coffee or soot to get the effects he wanted. It is reported that Hugo often drew with his left hand or without looking at the page, or during Spiritualist séance
Séance
A séance is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word "séance" comes from the French word for "seat," "session" or "sitting," from the Old French "seoir," "to sit." In French, the word's meaning is quite general: one may, for example, speak of "une séance de cinéma"...

s, in order to access his unconscious mind
Unconscious mind
The unconscious mind is a term coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge...

, a concept only later popularized by Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

.

Hugo kept his artwork out of the public eye, fearing it would overshadow his literary work. However, he enjoyed sharing his drawings with his family and friends, often in the form of ornately handmade calling cards, many of which were given as gifts to visitors when he was in political exile. Some of his work was shown to, and appreciated by, contemporary artists such as Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh , and used Brabant dialect in his writing; it is therefore likely that he himself pronounced his name with a Brabant accent: , with a voiced V and palatalized G and gh. In France, where much of his work was produced, it is...

 and Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school...

; the latter expressed the opinion that if Hugo had decided to become a painter instead of a writer, he would have outshone the artists of their century.

Gallery:

Memorials



The people of Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

 erected a statue in Candie Gardens (St. Peter Port) to commemorate his stay in the islands. The City of Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 has preserved his residences Hauteville House
Hauteville House
Hauteville House is a house where Victor Hugo lived during his exile from France, located at 38 Rue Hauteville in St. Peter Port in Guernsey. The house was donated to the City of Paris by Hugo's descendants in March, 1927...

, Guernsey
Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

 and 6, Place des Vosges, Paris as museums. The house where he stayed in Vianden
Vianden
Vianden is a commune with city status in the Oesling, north-eastern Luxembourg, with over 1,500 inhabitants. It is the capital of the canton of Vianden, which is part of the district of Diekirch. Vianden lies on the Our river, near the border between Luxembourg and Germany., the town of Vianden,...

, Luxembourg, in 1871 has also become a commemorative museum.

Hugo is venerated as a saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 in the Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

ese religion of Cao Dai
Cao Dai
Cao Đài is a syncretistic, monotheistic religion, officially established in the city of Tay Ninh, southern Vietnam, in 1926. Đạo Cao Đài is the religion's shortened name, the full name is Đại Đạo Tam Kỳ Phổ Độ...

.

The Avenue Victor-Hugo
Avenue Victor-Hugo (Paris)
Avenue Victor-Hugo is an avenue in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. It begins at place Charles de Gaulle and ends at place Tattegrain . It is one of the twelve avenues beginning at the Étoile, and the second longest of the twelve, after the avenue des Champs-Élysées...

 in the XVIème arrondissement of Paris bears Hugo's name, and links the Place de l'Étoile to the vicinity of the Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne is a park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine...

 by way of the Place Victor-Hugo. This square is served by a Paris Métro
Paris Métro
The Paris Métro or Métropolitain is the rapid transit metro system in Paris, France. It has become a symbol of the city, noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture influenced by Art Nouveau. The network's sixteen lines are mostly underground and run to 214 km ...

 stop
Victor Hugo (Paris Metro)
Victor Hugo is a station on Paris Métro Line 2. It is named after the author Victor Hugo.When first opened in 1900 as part of line 2 Nord, the platforms were built on the tight bend between Avenue Victor Hugo and Avenue Bugeaud. However, when new rolling stocks were introduced in 1931, the curve of...

 also named in his honor. A number of streets and avenues throughout France are likewise named after him. The school Lycée Victor Hugo was founded in his town of birth, Besançon
Besançon
Besançon , is the capital and principal city of the Franche-Comté region in eastern France. It had a population of about 237,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area in 2008...

 in France. Avenue Victor-Hugo, located in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada, was named to honor him.

In the city of Avellino
Avellino
Avellino is a town and comune, capital of the province of Avellino in the Campania region of southern Italy. It is situated in a plain surrounded by mountains 42 km north-east of Naples and is an important hub on the road from Salerno to Benevento.-History:Before the Roman conquest, the...

, Italy, Victor Hugo lived briefly stayed in what is now known as Il Palazzo Culturale, when reuniting with his father, Leopold Sigisbert Hugo, in 1808. Victor would later write about his brief stay here quoting "C’était un palais de marbre...".

In Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 there is a park named after him.

Works



Published during Hugo's lifetime

  • Cromwell preface only (1819)
  • Odes et poésies diverses (1822)
  • Odes (Hugo) (1823)
  • Han d'Islande (1823) (Hans of Iceland)
  • Nouvelles Odes (1824)
  • Bug-Jargal
    Bug-Jargal
    Bug-Jargal is a novel by the French writer Victor Hugo. First published in 1826, it is a reworked version of an earlier short story of the same name published in the Hugo brothers' magazine Le Conservateur littéraire in 1820...

     (1826)
  • Nils Gunnar Lie's history (1826)
  • Odes et Ballades
    Odes et Ballades
    Odes et Ballades, published in 1828, is the most complete version of a collection of poems by Victor Hugo written and published between 1822 and 1828. It includes five books of odes and one book of ballads....

     (1826)
  • Cromwell
    Cromwell (play)
    Cromwell is a play by Victor Hugo written in 1827. It was a result of the creation of the literary circle around Hugo which identified itself as Romanticist, taking Shakespeare as their model dramatist rather than the Classicist models of Jean Racine and Pierre Corneille supported by the French...

     (1827)
  • Les Orientales
    Les Orientales
    Les Orientales is a collection of poems by Victor Hugo, inspired by the Greek War of Independence. They were first published in January 1829.Of the forty-one poems, thirty-six were written during 1828...

     (1829)
  • Le Dernier jour d'un condamné (1829) (The Last Day of a Condemned Man)
  • Hernani
    Hernani (drama)
    ----Hernani is a drama by the French romantic author Victor Hugo.The play opened in Paris on February 25, 1830...

     (1830)
  • Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
  • Marion Delorme
    Marion Delorme (Hugo)
    Marion Delorme is a play by Victor Hugo in 5 acts, about the famous French courtesan of that name. It was first presented in 1831....

     (1831)
  • Les Feuilles d'automne (1831)
  • Le roi s'amuse
    Le roi s'amuse
    Le roi s'amuse is a play written by Victor Hugo in 1832. While it depicts the escapades of Francis I of France, censors of the time believed that it also contained insulting references to King Louis-Philippe and banned it after one performance...

     (1832)
  • Lucrèce Borgia
    Lucrèce Borgia
    Lucrèce Borgia is a 1953 French drama film starring Martine Carol and Pedro Armendáriz. The film was directed by Christian-Jaque, who co-wrote screenplay with Cécil Saint-Laurent and Jacques Sigurd, based on novel by Alfred Schirokauer...

     (1833) (Lucretia Borgia)
  • Marie Tudor (1833)
  • Littérature et philosophie mêlées (1834)
  • Claude Gueux
    Claude Gueux
    Claude Gueux was a short story written by Victor Hugo in 1834. It is considered an early example of "true crime" fiction, and contains Hugo's early thoughts on societal injustice which thirty years later he would flesh out in his novel Les Misérables...

     (1834)
  • Angelo, tyran de padoue (1835)
  • Les Chants du crépuscule (1835)
  • La Esmeralda (only libretto of an opera written by Victor Hugo himself) (1836)
  • Les Voix intérieures
    Les Voix intérieures
    Les Voix intérieures is a collection of poems by Victor Hugo published in 1837....

     (1837)
  • Ruy Blas
    Ruy Blas
    Ruy Blas is a tragic drama by Victor Hugo. It was the first play presented at the Théâtre de la Renaissance and opened on November 8, 1838. Though considered by many to be Hugo’s best drama, the play initially met with only average success....

     (1838)
  • Les Rayons et les ombres
    Les Rayons et les Ombres
    Les Rayons et les Ombres is a collection of forty-four poems by Victor Hugo, the last collection to be published before his exile, and containing most of his poems from between 1837 and 1840.One biographer Les Rayons et les Ombres ("Beams and shadows", 1840) is a collection of forty-four poems by...

     (1840)
  • Le Rhin
    Le Rhin
    Le Rhin is a travel guide written by Victor Hugo. Similar to Mark Twain's writings about the Mississippi, it includes many stories about the Rhine river. It ends with a political manifesto....

     (1842)
  • Les Burgraves
    Les Burgraves
    Les Burgraves is a historical play by Victor Hugo, first performed by the Comédie-Française on 7 May 1843. It takes place along the Rhine and features the return of Emperor Barbarossa....

     (1843)
  • Napoléon le Petit
    Napoléon le Petit
    Napoleon le Petit was an influential political pamphlet by Victor Hugo which condemned the reign of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. Hugo lived in exile in Guernsey for most of Napoleon III's reign, and his criticism of the monarch was significant as he was one of the most prominent Frenchmen...

     (1852)
  • Les Châtiments
    Les Châtiments
    Les Châtiments is a collection of poems by Victor Hugo that fiercely attack the grandeur of Napoléon III's Second Empire.- Historical background :...

     (1853)
  • Les Contemplations (1856)
  • Les TRYNE (1856)
  • La Légende des siècles
    La Légende des siècles
    La Légende des siècles is a collection of poems by Victor Hugo, conceived as an immense depiction of the history and evolution of humanity....

     (1859)
  • Les Misérables
    Les Misérables
    Les Misérables , translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century...

     (1862)
  • William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare (essay)
    William Shakespeare was an 1864 work by Victor Hugo, written in his 13th year of exile. When he began writing it, he intended for it to be an introduction for a collection of French translations of Shakespeare's plays written by his son, Francois Victor Hugo...

     (1864)
  • Les Chansons des rues et des bois (1865)
  • Les Travailleurs de la Mer (1866), (Toilers of the Sea
    Toilers of the Sea
    Toilers of the Sea , is a novel by Victor Hugo.The book is dedicated to the island of Guernsey, where Hugo spent 15 years in exile.The story concerns a Guernseyman named Gilliatt, a social outcast who falls in love with Deruchette, the niece of a local shipowner, Mess Lethierry...

    )
  • La voix de Guernsey (1867)
  • L'Homme qui rit (1869), (The Man Who Laughs
    The Man Who Laughs
    The Man Who Laughs is a novel by Victor Hugo, originally published in April 1869 under the French title L'Homme qui rit. Also published under the title By Order of the King...

    )
  • L'Année terrible
    L'Année terrible
    L'Année terrible is a series of poems written by Victor Hugo and published in 1872. They deal with the Franco-Prussian War, the trauma of losing his son Charles, and with the Paris Commune...

     (1872)
  • Quatrevingt-treize (Ninety-Three
    Ninety-Three
    Ninety-Three is the last novel by the French writer Victor Hugo. Published in 1874, shortly after the bloody upheaval of the Paris Commune, the novel concerns the Revolt in the Vendée and Chouannerie – the counter-revolutionary revolts in 1793 during the French Revolution...

    ) (1874)
  • Mes Fils (1874)
  • Actes et paroles
    Actes et Paroles
    Actes et Paroles is a book by Victor Hugo, that recounts his life story and his dreams of the future. It speaks of universal education and a United States of Europe. It adopts a hostile tone to the military and the church....

     – Avant l'exil (1875)
  • Actes et paroles – Pendant l'exil (1875)
  • Actes et paroles – Depuis l'exil (1876)
  • La Légende des Siècles 2e série (1877)
  • L'Art d'être grand-père
    L'Art d'être grand-père
    L'Art d'être grand-père is a substantial book of poems by Victor Hugo, published in 1877. They were among the last he wrote....

     (1877)
  • Histoire d'un crime
    Histoire d'un crime
    The History of a Crime is a novel by Victor Hugo about Napoleon III's takeover of France.- External links :...

      1re partie (1877)
  • Histoire d'un crime 2e partie (1878)
  • Le Pape
    Le Pape
    Le Pape was a political tract in verse by Victor Hugo, supporting Christianity but attacking the rigid organization of the Catholic Church. Although written in 1874-5, it was not published until 29 April 1878, two months after the beginning of the papacy of Leo XIII...

     (1878)
  • La pitié suprême
    La Pitié suprême
    La Pitié suprême is a long poem in fifteen sections, by Victor Hugo, published in February 1879 but in fact written in 1857-8....

     (1879)
  • Religions et religion
    Religions et religion
    Religions et religion was an 1880 political tract by Victor Hugo supporting belief in God but attacking organized religion....

     (1880)
  • L'Âne (1880)
  • Les Quatres vents de l'esprit (1881)
  • Torquemada
    Torquemada (play)
    Torquemada is an 1869 play by Victor Hugo about Tomás de Torquemada and the Inquisition in Spain. It criticized religious fanaticism and fanatical catholicism. It was first published in 1882, as a protest against antisemitic pogroms in Russia at the time....

     (1882)
  • La Légende des siècles Tome III (1883)
  • L'Archipel de la Manche (1883)


Poems of Victor Hugo
Poems of Victor Hugo
The poems of Victor Hugo captured the spirit of the Romantic era. They were largely devoted to 19th century causes. Many touched on religious themes. Initially they were royalist but soon became Bonapartist, Republican, and liberal...


Published posthumously

  • Théâtre en liberté (1886)
  • La Fin de Satan
    La fin de Satan
    La Fin de Satan is a long religious epic by Victor Hugo, of which 5700 lines were written between 1854 and 1862, but left unfinished and published after his death....

     (1886)
  • Choses vues (1887)
  • Toute la lyre (1888)
  • Amy Robsart (1889)
  • Les Jumeaux (1889)
  • Actes et Paroles Depuis l'exil, 1876–1885 (1889)
  • Alpes et Pyrénées (1890)
  • Dieu
    Dieu
    Dieu is a long religious epic by Victor Hugo, parts of which were written between 1855 and 1862. It was left unfinished, and published after his death....

     (1891)
  • France et Belgique (1892)
  • Toute la lyre – dernière série (1893)
  • Les fromages (1895)
  • Correspondences – Tome I (1896)
  • Correspondences – Tome II (1898)
  • Les années funestes (1898)
  • Choses vues – nouvelle série (1900)
  • Post-scriptum de ma vie (1901)
  • Dernière Gerbe (1902)
  • Mille francs de récompense (1934)
  • Océan. Tas de pierres (1942)
  • L'Intervention (1951)
  • Conversations with Eternity
    Conversations with Eternity
    Conversations with Eternity is a book by John Chambers, published from a series of notes by Victor Hugo. It "set out to present the Hugo family's table-turning seances in Marine-Terrace on the island of Jersey between 1853 and 1855". Chambers translated the original notes, which dealt with themes...

     (1998)


Online texts


Online references

  • Afran, Charles (1997). “Victor Hugo: French Dramatist”. Website: Discover France. (Originally published in Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1997, v.9.0.1.) Retrieved November 2005.
  • Bates, Alfred (1906). “Victor Hugo”. Website: Theatre History. (Originally published in The Drama: Its History, Literature and Influence on Civilization, vol. 9. ed. Alfred Bates. London: Historical Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 11–13.) Retrieved November 2005.
  • Bates, Alfred (1906). “Hernani”. Website: Theatre History. (Originally published in The Drama: Its History, Literature and Influence on Civilization, vol. 9. ed. Alfred Bates. London: Historical Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 20–23.) Retrieved November 2005.
  • Bates, Alfred (1906). “Hugo’s Cromwell”. Website: Theatre History. (Originally published in The Drama: Its History, Literature and Influence on Civilization, vol. 9. ed. Alfred Bates. London: Historical Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 18–19.) Retrieved November 2005.
  • Bittleston, Misha (uncited date). "Drawings of Victor Hugo". Website: Misha Bittleston. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Burnham, I.G. (1896). “Amy Robsart”. Website: Theatre History. (Originally published in Victor Hugo: Dramas. Philadelphia: The Rittenhouse Press, 1896. pp. 203–6, 401–2.) Retrieved November 2005.
  • Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Edition (2001–05). “Hugo, Victor Marie, Vicomte”. Website: Bartleby, Great Books Online. Retrieved November 2005. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Haine, W. Scott (1997). “Victor Hugo”. Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions. Website: Ohio University. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Illi, Peter (2001–2004). “Victor Hugo: Plays”. Website: The Victor Hugo Website. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Karlins, N.F. (1998). "Octopus With the Initials V.H." Website: ArtNet. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Liukkonen, Petri (2000). “Victor Hugo (1802–1885)”. Books and Writers. Website: Pegasos: A Literature Related Resource Site. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Meyer, Ronald Bruce (2004). “Victor Hugo”. Website: Ronald Bruce Meyer. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Portasio, Manoel (2009). “Victor Hugo e o Espiritismo”. Website: Sir William Crookes Spiritist Society. (Portuguese) Retrieved August 2010.
  • Robb, Graham (1997). “A Sabre in the Night”. Website: New York Times (Books). (Excerpt from Graham, Robb (1997). Victor Hugo: A Biography. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.) Retrieved November 2005.
  • Roche, Isabel (2005). “Victor Hugo: Biography”. Meet the Writers. Website: Barnes & Noble
    Barnes & Noble
    Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest book retailer in the United States, operating mainly through its Barnes & Noble Booksellers chain of bookstores headquartered at 122 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District in Manhattan in New York City. Barnes & Noble also operated the chain of small B. Dalton...

    . (From the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 2005.) Retrieved November 2005.
  • Schneider, Maria do Carmo M (2010). “Victor Hugo, gênio sem fronteiras”. Website: MiniWeb Educacao. (Portuguese) Retrieved August 2010.
  • Uncited Author. “Victor Hugo”. Website: Spartacus Educational. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Uncited Author. “Timeline of Victor Hugo”. Website: BBC. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Uncited Author. (2000–2005). “Victor Hugo”. Website: The Literature Network. Retrieved November 2005.
  • Uncited Author. "Hugo Caricature". Website: Présence de la Littérature a l'école. Retrieved November 2005.

Further reading

  • Barbou, Alfred (1882). Victor Hugo and His Times. University Press of the Pacific: 2001 paper back edition. ISBN 089875478X
  • Barnett, Marva A., ed. (2009). Victor Hugo on Things That Matter: A Reader. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press
    Yale University Press
    Yale University Press is a book publisher founded in 1908 by George Parmly Day. It became an official department of Yale University in 1961, but remains financially and operationally autonomous....

    . ISBN 0300122454
  • Brombert, Victor H. (1984). Victor Hugo and the Visionary Novel. Boston: Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    . ISBN 0674935500
  • Davidson, A.F. (1912). Victor Hugo: His Life and Work. University Press of the Pacific: 2003 paperback edition. ISBN 1410207781
  • Dow, Leslie Smith (1993). Adele Hugo: La Miserable. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions. ISBN 0864921683
  • Falkayn, David (2001). Guide to the Life, Times, and Works of Victor Hugo. University Press of the Pacific. ISBN 0898754658
  • Feller, Martin, Der Dichter in der Politik. Victor Hugo und der deutsch-französische Krieg von 1870/71. Untersuchungen zum französischen Deutschlandbild und zu Hugos Rezeption in Deutschland. Doctoral Dissertation, Marburg 1988.
  • Frey, John Andrew (1999). A Victor Hugo Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313298963
  • Grant, Elliot (1946). The Career of Victor Hugo. Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    . Out of print.
  • Halsall, A.W. et al. (1998). Victor Hugo and the Romantic Drama. University of Toronto Press
    University of Toronto Press
    University of Toronto Press is Canada's leading scholarly publisher and one of the largest university presses in North America. Founded in 1901, UTP has published over 6,500 books, with well over 3,500 of these still in print....

    . ISBN 0802043224
  • Hart, Simon Allen (2004). Lady in the Shadows: The Life and Times of Julie Drouet, Mistress, Companion and Muse to Victor Hugo. Publish American. ISBN 1413711332
  • Houston, John Porter (1975). Victor Hugo. New York: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 0805724435
  • Hovasse, Jean-Marc (2001), Victor Hugo: Avant l'exil. Paris: Fayard. ISBN 2213610940
  • Hovasse, Jean-Marc (2008), Victor Hugo: Pendant l'exil I. Paris: Fayard. ISBN 2213620784
  • Ireson, J.C. (1997). Victor Hugo: A Companion to His Poetry. Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198157991
  • Laster, Arnaud (2002). Hugo à l'Opéra. Paris: L'Avant-Scène Opéra, no. 208.
  • Maurois, Andre (1956). Olympio: The Life of Victor Hugo. New York: Harper & Brothers.
  • Maurois, Andre (1966). Victor Hugo and His World. London: Thames and Hudson. Out of print.
  • Pouchain, Gérard and Robert Sabourin (1992). Juliette Drouet, ou, La dépaysée. Paris: Fayard. ISBN 2213020957
  • Robb, Graham (1997). Victor Hugo: A Biography. W.W. Norton & Company: 1999 paperback edition. ISBN 0393318990, (description/reviews at wwnorton.com)
  • Tonazzi, Pascal (2007) Florilège de Notre-Dame de Paris (anthologie) Paris, Editions Arléa ISBN 2-86959-795-9

External links