The Underworld

The Authors: Victor Hugo, Eugene Sue and Honore de Balzac


The System

Famous Crime





Three of the biggest names in literature of the times--Victor Hugo, Eugene Sue, and Honore de Balzac--offer interesting representations and perspectives on the underclasses. The time and style of their writing makes these three an obvious study for literary representation.


Photograph of Victor Hugo from Hugoweb.

Victor Hugo (Feb. 26, 1802-May 22, 1885)

A renowned writer of the mid to late nineteenth century. His most famous works include The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables. His changing political views sparked Les Miserables which was written whilst he was in exile.

Image of Sue from The Mysteres of Paris, Edition de Luxe.

Eugene Sue (Jan. 25, 1804-Aug. 3, 1857)

The first author to deal with many social issues of his day. He was extremely popular, and his novel Les Mysteres de Paris is a forerunner to Les Miserables.

Image of Balzac from Edgar Evertson Saltus's Balzac.

Honore de Balzac (May 20, 1799-Aug. 18, 1850)

His book of short stories, Le Comedie Humaine, is well known for their portrayals of crime and criminals. He is also known for his lack of romanticism in this collection.


This page was created by M. Childs