Victor Hugo Additional Biography


(Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)

0111201556-Hugo.jpg Victor Hugo (Library of Congress) Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Although he became a virtual cultural icon in France during the early years of the Third Republic (1871-1885) due primarily to the fame of such novels as Les Miserables (1862), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831), and The Toilers of the Sea (1865), Hugo suffered for his political views earlier in his career. He began his political life as a peer under the monarchy of Louis Philippe, but transferred his support to the republicans during 1848 and was elected as a deputy to the constituent assembly that was created shortly after the overthrow of Louis Philippe and establishment of the Second Republic that same year.

Although Hugo originally welcomed the future Napoleon III to France and supported the latter’s successful bid for the presidency of the Second Republic in December, 1848, he gradually alienated himself from the Bonapartist camp by his outspoken opposition to the government’s policy toward the papacy and uncompromising republicanism. This process was complete by the time Napoleon III launched his coup d’état of December, 1851. Fearing arrest, Hugo went into hiding immediately after the event and was officially sentenced to exile shortly thereafter. He moved first to Belgium (where he stayed for only a few months) and then to the Channel Islands off the coast of France, first Jersey, then Guernsey, where he lived for eighteen years.

While in exile, Hugo wrote a number of works attacking...

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(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Born in Besançon, France, quand le siècle avait deux ans (when the century was two years old), on February 26, 1802, Victor-Marie Hugo was one of three sons of a future general, Joseph-Leopold-Sigisbert Hugo, and a temperamental mother of Breton origin, Sophie-Françoise Trébuchet. His early years were marked by parental incompatibility and travels to Italy and Spain. His childhood memories of Spain were deep and lasting, and names such as Hernani, Torquemada, and Elespuru originate in this trip, as do the inspirations of many plays and poems. His first verses go back to his early school days in Paris in a private pension from 1815 to 1818, and he began his dramatic experimentations with classical tragedies, comic...

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(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Victor-Marie Hugo was born in Besançon, France, in 1802, the third son of Joseph-Léopold-Sigisbert Hugo and Sophie-Françoise Trébuchet. His father had been born in Nancy and his mother in Nantes. They met in the Vendée, where Léopold Hugo was serving in the Napoleonic army. His military career kept the family on the move, and it was during Major Hugo’s tour of duty with the Army of the Rhine that Victor-Marie was born in Besançon.

Léopold and Sophie did not have a happy marriage, and after the birth of their third son, they were frequently separated. By 1808, Léopold had been promoted to general and was made a count in Napoleon I’s empire. During one reunion of Hugo’s parents, Victor and his brothers...

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(Literary Essentials: Great Poems of the World)

Victor-Marie Hugo was born at Besançon, the third son of Joseph Léopold Sigisbert Hugo and Sophie Trébuchet. His father, a career military man, served with distinction in the postrevolutionary army. He later became a general and viscount, as well as a close associate of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother. Though gifted with military tenacity, the elder Hugo unfortunately was not capable of such steadfastness on the home front. Madame Hugo soon tired of his lusty nature and infidelities, finding relief in the arms of General Victor Fanneau LaHorie, an opponent of Napoleon, who was Victor Hugo’s godfather. Shortly after Hugo’s birth, Madame Hugo moved her children to Paris to be near LaHorie. After LaHorie became an enemy...

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(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Victor-Marie Hugo (HYEW-goh) was the third son of Major Joseph Leopold Sigisbert Hugo and Sophie Trebuchet Hugo. He was born in Besançon, in eastern France, on February 26, 1802, in the third year of Napoleon I’s First Republic. He was a slight, somewhat misshapen child, who at birth seemed to the doctor to have little chance for survival. No omen could have been more false, as Hugo became a titan of strength and energy, living during one period of his life with the equivalent of three marriage partners and, as an octogenarian, outliving all five of his children.

Hugo’s parents quarreled much and separated frequently, gaining legal separation in 1818. His father distinguished himself in a military career, serving...

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(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Viewing philosophy as, in the words of his character Jean Valjean, “the microscope of thought,” Victor Hugo chose lyric poetry, the verse drama, and the novel to produce his macroscopic depiction of human feeling. He is the consummate Romantic, for whom the dark reaches of the emotions hold more truth than do the logic and science of the Enlightenment. “Science,” he wrote, “has the first word on everything, the last word on nothing”; and he urged artists always to oppose “shadow to light” and “invisible truth to visible fact.”

The three r’s evident in Hugo’s life and work are revolution, Romanticism, and religion; and, in his writing, each is implicit with his apprehension of the female force: The fictional women in his novels and the actual women who inspired most of his poetry all attest to his belief that “the poem that is Woman pervades the history of Man.”


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

In France, the fame of Victor Hugo (yew-goh) rests chiefly on his enormous output of romantic poetry; in the United States, he is known best for two novels. Although he was a successful playwright in his time, only Hernani is now remembered outside scholarly circles.

Victor Marie Hugo was born in Besançon to Joseph Hugo and Sophie Trebuchet. His father was a crude and lusty officer in Napoleon’s army; his mother, of a more reserved disposition, rather quickly tired of her amorous husband. While her husband was stationed in Germany, Italy, and Spain, she entered into a liaison with LaHorie, a general opposed to Napoleon. Victor and his two older brothers spent some time with their father in Elba, and later,...

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(Epics for Students)

As a novelist, poet, political activist, and painter, Victor Hugo was a central figure in the Romantic movement of nineteenth-century France....

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(Novels for Students)

Victor Hugo was one of the most influential of early French Romantic writers, a man who so dominated French literature that the French refer...

(The entire section is 484 words.)