Famous French People
Victor-Marie Hugo was born in 1802 in Besançon, France. He was a poet, playwright and novelist and his work belonged to the Romantic style of writing.
His most famous novels are probably Les Misérables because of the musical stage version and Notre Dame de Paris because of the Disney film 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame.'
Notre Dame de Paris tells the story of a hunchback called Quasimodo who is a bell-ringer in the cathedral of Paris.
Victor Hugo is considered to be a great writer because he wrote in so many styles - poetry, novels, plays, essays. His writing talent was recognised when he was very young and at the age of twenty-two his first collection of poems was published. This collection is called Nouvelles Odes et Poésies Diverses.
In 1822, Victor married Adèle Foucher who had been his friend since childhood. One of the witnesses at the wedding was another great French poet, Alfred de Vigny. Below is a portrait of Adèle.
Victor and Adèle went on to have five children - the oldest (a son called Léopold) died in infancy.
Victor Hugo's other children were Charles,
For political reasons, Victor Hugo was obliged to live in exile. This period lasted for twenty years! He lived in Belgium in 1851, Jersey from 1852 till 1855 and Guernsey from 1855 till 1870.
Although he was married, Victor Hugo fell in love with an actress called Juliette Drouet (below) who acted in some of his plays. She was madly in love with him and she even moved to Guernsey to be near him during his long period of exile.
In 1868, Victor Hugo's wife, Adèle, died. She was buried next to her daughter Léopoldine at the cemetery of Villequier.
Victor Hugo died in 1885. His funeral was attended by around two million people. It was a state funeral, meaning that people did not go to work on that day. His body lay in state beneath the Arc de Triomphe where people came to pay their respects. He had become extremely popular because he had always tried to stand up for the poor.
Victor Hugo was laid to rest in a building in Paris called Le Panthéon. Inside this building are the tombs of many famous French people. Below, there is a photo of Le Panthéon.
Here is the famous poem written by Victor Hugo in memory of his daughter, Léopoldine:
Demain, dès l'aube...