Victor Hugo is, without doubt, the most famous figure ever to have lived in the Channel Islands. He is famous worldwide as both a literary and political celebrity and he has succeeded in the difficult task of being both intellectually respectable and at the same time immensely popular, especially through two of his major works, ‘Notre Dame de Paris’ and ‘Les Misérables’, which was completed in Guernsey.
He was born in Besançon in 1802 and by the age of 13 had realised that he had a literary calling, his early poems winning a number of awards, including two “mentions” from the Academie Francaise. During the 1820s he became one of the leading figures of the French Romantic movement. In 1830 his position was enhanced by the success of the play ‘Hernani’ which was subject to fierce controversy, symbolising as it did the conflict between new Romantic ideas and classical French theatre. Indeed, the “battle” surrounding the play is now considered to be a major turning point in French… read more
"Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness."