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Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (February 26, 1802 - May 22, 1885) was the most important of the Romantic authors in the French language.

Born in Besançon, Doubs in the region of Franche-Comté. One of the most powerful and popular authors of 19th century France, and a champion of republicanism exiled during the reign of Napoleon III and returned in 1870.

Major works include novels and a large body of poetry. His death, and the spontaneous national mourning which followed, inspired the French government to reinvent The Panthéon in Paris as a temple in homage to the great men (and, eventually, women) of France. He is buried in its necropolis.

Although Hugo is better known to the English-speaking world as a novelist, it was as a poet that he broke new ground. The French poetic traditions were as well-established in his time as the English ones were before the time of the Romantic poets, and Hugo's contribution may be compared with that of Wordsworth. He believed that the poet's purpose should be two-fold:

In his epic, La Légende des Siècles, he attempts, by reference to historical events, to depict humanity's struggle to emerge from obscurity into enlightenment.

Honorary President and founder of the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI) in 1878 in Paris which gave itself the objective of creating an international convention for the protection of literary and artistic properties which was achieved eight years later with the Berne Convention on September 9, 1886.


Published posthumously:

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