Black and white photograph of French writer Victor Hugo.

Victor Hugo

(1802 - 1885)

Victor Hugo published The Hunchback of Notre-Dame in 1831, was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1848, and went into exile on the island of Guernsey after Napoleon III’s coup d’état in 1851. While Les Misérables, a historical novel set in Paris between 1815 and 1832, was a commercial success, it did not win universal admiration: Gustave Flaubert found in it “neither truth nor greatness…and the digressions! So many! So many!” Hugo was given a state funeral in 1885 and was interred at the Panthéon.

All Writing

Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of these two has the grander view?

—Victor Hugo, 1862

Voices In Time

1831 | Paris

Writing in Stone

Victor Hugo explains the language of architecture.More

A man is not idle, because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is an invisible labor.

—Victor Hugo, 1862

The brutalities of progress are called revolutions. When they are over we realize this: that the human has been roughly handled, but that it has advanced.

—Victor Hugo, 1862

Issues Contributed