Victor Hugo

1802 –

Victor Hugo was born on February 26, 1802, in Besançon, France. He studied law from 1815 to 1818 and graduated from the law faculty in Paris. During this time, he also began a career in literature, founding the journal Conservateur Littéraire in 1819. He published his first book of poems, Odes et poesies diverses (Pélicier), in 1822. Hugo went on to publish numerous poetry collections and is considered one of the great French Romantic poets. However, he is perhaps best known for his novels, which include Les Misérables (Carleton, 1862) and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (R. Bentley, 1833). Also known for his political involvement, Hugo served in Paris’s Constituent Assembly and Legislative Assembly after the Revolution of 1848. After a coup d-etat in 1851, he fled France to live in Belgium and, later, the Channel Islands. In 1871 he returned to Paris, where he was received as a national hero. He died on May 22, 1885, and was buried in the Panthéon.