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Victor Hugo

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AuthorBradley Stephens
Published LanguageEnglish
Publication Year2019
PublisherReaktion Books
Original Price£12.99
Ships By2-3 days
SKU: RB-82 Category:


Victor Hugo (1802-85) is an icon of French culture. He achieved immense success as a poet, dramatist and novelist, and he was also elected to both Houses of the French Parliament. Leading the Romantic campaign against artistic tradition and defying the Second Empire in exile, he became synonymous with the progressive ideals of the French Revolution. His State funeral in Paris made headlines across the world and his breadth of appeal remains evident today, not least thanks to the popularity of his bestseller, Les Misérables.

This biography, the first in English for over twenty years, provides a concise but comprehensive study of Hugo’s monumental body of work within the context of his dramatic life. Hugo wrestled with family tragedy and personal misgivings while being pulled into the turmoil of the nineteenth century, from the fall of Napoleon’s Empire to the rise of France’s Third Republic. Throughout these twists of fate, he sensed a natural order of collapse and renewal. This unending cycle of creation shaped his ideas about freedom and roused his imagination, which he channelled into his prolific writing and other outlets like drawing. Such vigour also suggests, as Bradley Stephens argues, that Hugo was too restless to sit comfortably on the pedestal of literary greatness.

About the author
Bradley Stephens is Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Bristol. His books include Victor Hugo, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the Liability of Liberty (2011), ?Les Mis?rables? and its Afterlives: Between Page, Stage, and Screen (co-edited with Kathryn M. Grossman, 2015) and Approaches to Teaching Hugo?s ?Les Mis?rables? (co-edited with Michal P. Ginsburg, 2018).

Additional information

Dimensions13 × 20 cm


Published Language




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2-3 days