The Life of Victor Hugo

             Victor Hugo was born in Besancon in 1802. He was the son of an army general and a conservative mother. Most of his childhood was spent pursuing the campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars. When Hugo was 16, his parents separated and Hugo went to live with his mother in Paris. He was both privately educated and attended public school. Hugo was an intelligent child and developed a gift for writing early. In early adolescence, he began to write verse tragedies, and poetry and translated Virgil. Odes Et Poesies Diverses was Hugo's first collection of poetry and it earned Hugo a royal pension of 3,000 francs a year from Louis XVIII. Hugo continued to receive attention from French Kings. At the age of 23, he was invested as a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur. In 1823, Hugo made his debut as a novelist with Han D'Islande along with Bug-Jargal in 1826. By this time, Hugo had already married Adele Foucher and had a young child.
             In the preface to Hugo's historical drama "Cromwell" (1827), Hugo pleaded for freedom from classical restrictions. This plea was quickly made the manifesto of the romantic school. Censors banned Hugo's second drama in 1829, Marion de Lorme. The drama was based on the life of a 17th-century French courtesan. Hugo responded to the ban with Hernani, a poetic drama that was unlike the conventions of the French theater. This drama caused a riot between the classicists and the romanticists. Hugo's next work was The Hunchback of Notre Dame and it was an instant success. The novel is set in 15th century Paris and is about a gypsy, Esmeralda, and a deformed bell ringer, Quasimodo, and his love for her. Around this time, Hugo met Juilette Drouer, an actress. She was Hugo's mistress for the following 50 years. She was not Hugo's only mistress but she was his most loyal. She wrote him at least a letter a day and never lived farther than walking distance from his home. Hugo published several volumes of lyric poetry during the 1830s....

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The Life of Victor Hugo. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:37, March 30, 2023, from