Scope and Contents of the Collection
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Overview of the Collection
|Creator:||Hugo, Victor, 1802-1885.|
|Title:||Victor Hugo Collection|
|Quantity:||57 items (SC)|
|Abstract:||Papers of the French author, novelist. Forty-six letters from actress Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo (1839-1878) and 1 to another correspondent; and 6 outgoing letters of Hugo.|
|Repository:||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Victor-Marie Hugo (1802-1885) was a French novelist, poet, and dramatist best known for his works the Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) (1831) and Les Misérables (1862).
Hugo was born February 26, 1802 in Besançon, France to Léopold and Sophie Hugo. His father was a high-ranking officer in Napoleon's army while his mother held strong royalist views. The result was a disjointed marriage. Hugo's father was sent to Spain in 1809, where he was named governor of two Spanish provinces, Ernani and Torquemada. His mother moved Hugo and his two brothers to his father's estate, but returned the family to Paris by 1812.
Hugo wrote his first play in 1816. By 1819, Hugo and his two brothers, Abel and Eugène, began production of a royalist review titled Conservateur littéraire. In 1822 Hugo married Adèle Foucher with whom he had five children. Shortly after, Foucher began an affair with Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve while Hugo started a relationship with actress Juliette Drouet.
Around mid-century Hugo became involved in politics. He was elected to the National Assembly in 1848 and to the Legislative Assembly in 1849. After his son, Charles, was imprisoned, Hugo opposed Napoleon III openly. As a result, when Napoleon III came to power in 1851 Hugo was forced to flee to Brussels. His family eventually settled on the island of Guernsey, with Drouet living next door. Hugo returned to France in 1870 where he continued his political involvement. He was elected to the National Assembly in 1870 and to the Senate in 1876.
Hugo had a successful literary career, serving as a central figure in French romanticism. Hugo died on May 22, 1885. His body lay in state under the Arc de Triomphe and the government ordered a period of national morning.
Selected Literary Works
|Han d'Islande ( Han of Iceland)|
|1826||Bug-Jargal ( The Slave-King)|
|Odes et Ballades|
|1830||Hernani, ou l'Honneur castillan ( Hernani; or, The Honour of a Castilian)|
|1831||Les Feuilles d'automne|
|Notre-Dame de Paris ( The Hunchback of Notre Dame)|
|1832||Le Roi s'amuse ( The King's Fool)|
|1833||Lucrèce Borgia ( Lucretia Borgia, a Dramatic Tale)|
|1835||Angelo, Tyran de Padoue ( Angelo)|
|Les Chants du crépuscle ( Songs of Twilight)|
|1837||Les Voix intérieures|
|1838||Ruy Blas ( Ruy Blas: A Romantic Drama)|
|1842||Les Rayons et les ombres|
|1859||La Légende des siècles ( The Legend of the Centuries)|
|1866||Les Travailleurs de la mer ( The Toilers of the Sea)|
|1881||Les Quatre Vents de l'esprit|
The Victor Hugo Collection contains Biographical material, Correspondence, and Memorabilia from the French author. The Correspondence is divided into two subseries. Letters from Victor Hugo includes 7 pieces of correspondence from Hugo to various individuals. Meanwhile, Letters from Juliette Drouet contains letters from Juliette Drouet, Hugo's mistress, to Victor Hugo (1839-1878), with the exception of a single letter from Drouet to an unidentified individual (26 Mar 1846). Memorabilia consists of two ballot tickets as well as wedding invitations to Hugo's son's wedding.
The collection is divided into three series: Biographical material, Correspondence, and Memorabilia. The Correspondence is divided into two subseries, Letters from Victor Hugo and Letters from Juliette Drouet, which are arranged alphabetically by recipient.
The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.
Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.
|SC 258, Folder 1||Biographical material|
|Letters from Victor Hugo|
|SC 258, Folder 2||Buloz, commissaire du roi près le Theâtre-Français (1 letter)|
|SC 258, Folder 2||Danton, Monsieur, au ministère de l'instruction publique (1 letter)|
|SC 258, Folder 2||Unidentified 1842, 1863, undated - 2 of the letters include a transcription (4 letters)|
|Letters from Juliette Drouet|
|SC 258, Folder 3||Hugo, Victor 1839-1878, undated - translation included for all 46 letters (46 letters)|
|SC 258, Folder 3||Unidentified 26 Mar 1846 - translation included (1 letter)|
|This letter is the only letter from Juliette Drouet that is not to Victor Hugo, however, the letter does mention Hugo.|
|SC 258, Folder 4||Ballots (2 items)|
|SC 258, Folder 4||Wedding invitations 1877 (2 items)|