Hugo, Victor Marie (1802-1885), a great French poet and novelist, was born at Besancon, His father, an officer, followed the fortunes of Joseph Bonaparte into Italy and Spain, being accompanied to these countries by his son, who displayed a taste for writing verses when only 12 years "old. In 1823 he produced his first novel, Han d'Islande, and in 1828 a full edition of Odes et Ballades, having the year before brought out his play Cromwell, which gave the first impulse to the war between the Classicists and Romanticists, which culminated in the production of' Hernani in 1830. Then followed many dramas such as Marion Delorme, Le Boi s'amuse, Lucr'ece Borgia, Marie Tudor, Ruy Bias, etc. This work, however, did not exhaust his energies, for he published during this period the novel Notre Bame de Paris, and Les
Feuilles d'Automne, and other poems in his best style. He also wrote critical essays, and contributed to a review. He was admitted to the French Academy in 1841, and in 1845 Louis Philippe made him a peer of France. From 1848 to 1851 he was engaged in politics, at first on the Conservative side and then on the Democratic, and the coup d'etat saw him flee to Brussels, where he wrote the first of his bitter attacks upon Napoleon III. He then went to Jersey and afterwards to Guernsey, where he remained till the establishment of the French Republic. It was during this period that some of his books best known to English readers were published. Such are Les Miserables, Les Travailleurs de la Mer, L'Homme qui Rit, and many of his later poems. Of the several works written after his return to France in 1870, perhaps the most notable is L'Histoire d'nn Crime. Victor Hugo's faults seem to have lain in the direction of self-consciousness and exaggeration.