Biography of Victor Marie Hugo


Hugo, Victor Marie. French poet and romance writer. Born of noble parents in Besancon, 1802. Began to write verse at the age of 14, and soon deserting classic models, became the founder, with Sainte-Beuve and others, of the French romantic school. In like manner, his early royalism gave place to ardent republicanism. "Cromwell," "Le Dernier Jour d'un Condamne," "Marion Delorme" and, above all, "Herani," were strongly censured by the Academie; but Charles X would not prohibit the performance of the last. "Le Roi's Amuse," was, however, interdicted by the ministry. Between the years 1830-40 appeared also "Notre-Dame de Paris," and several volumes of verse, and the poet was elected to the Academie in 1841. In 1845 he also became "pair de France." In 1848 he was elected by Paris to the Constitutional Assembly, and acted with the moderates, but in the next Assembly he became one of the orators of the left and, having attempted to resist the coup d'etat of Louis Napoleon, was banished in 1851. He lived chiefly in Jersey and Guernsey, and wrote "Les Contemplations" and "La Legende des Siecles." He refused to avail himself of the amnesties of 1859 and 1869, but returned to Paris in 1870. In 1866 appeared "Les Travailleurs de la Mer," and, after the return, "Quatre-vingt Treize," "L'Histoire d'un Crime," and many other works. "Hernani" was revived in 1867. Hugo became a senator in 1876. Chief among his lyrics were his early "Odes et Ballades," "Les Feuilles d'Automne," "Les Chants du Crepusule," "Les Rayons et les Ombres," and "Chansons des Rues et des Bois." The romance "Les Miserables," was translated into many languages. Victor Hugo died in 1885, and was buried in the Pantheon, which was secularized for the purpose.