The life of Victor Hugo was as turbulent as some of his novels. Regularly visited by both tragedy and triumph, the author of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” lived in several apartments in Paris, including this one on the second floor of a corner house on the sumptuous place des Vosges. From 1832 to 1848, he lived here with his wife and four children. When Napoleon III seized power in 1851, this passionate advocate of free speech declared the new king a traitor of France. Fearing for his life, Hugo left the country and lived in exile until 1870 when he triumphantly returned and was elected to the senate. By the time he died in 1885 he was a national hero; his funeral cortege through the streets of Paris is the stuff of legend, and his body was one of the first to be buried in the Panthéon. The museum’s collection charts this dramatic existence through the author’s drawings, manuscripts, notes, furniture, and personal objects, which are displayed in rooms that recreate the ambiance of the original lodgings.
- Margie Rynn