France : Dramatist Novelist & Painter
Victor Marie Hugo 26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885 was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. In France, Hugo’s literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the acclaimed novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). He also produced more than 4,000 drawings, which have since been admired for their beauty, and earned widespread respect as a campaigner for social causes such as the abolition of the death penalty.
Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo’s views changed as the decades passed, and he became a passionate supporter of republicanism; his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and artistic trends of his time. He was buried in the Panthéon. His legacy has been honored in many ways, including his portrait being placed on francs.