Unmasking The Bourgeoisie

The Classic Collection of Victor Hugo's Works

A Love Story

Romance  

 

Marriage


Real Life

Victor Hugo at his work. Photgravure by Goupil et Cie.

From drawing by A. Marie

1822
ODES AND VARIOUS POEMS. Early poetry.

1823
HAN OF ICELAND. Historical romance. Hugo's earliest romance fiction.

1826
BUG-JARGAL. A forgotten novel about a slave revolt in Santo Domingo. Hugo wrote the first edition when he was 16 years old.

ODES AND BALLADS. A timeless poem.

1827
CROMWELL. This verse play is too lengthy to stage. Its preface, however, makes Hugo famous. In it, he argues for a romantic rebirth of drama.

1829
MARION de LORME. Outraged censors ban this shocking drama. The lead character is a loose woman. The role of King Louis XIII is deemed
crude and offensive.

THE LAST DAY OF A CONDEMNED MAN. A novel protesting the death penalty. Hugo's first "mature" novel.

ORIENTAL POEMS. Echoes the era's popular romantic themes.

1830
HERNANI. The literary establishment is scandalized by this play's unabashed romanticism. The opening night audience splits between ardent fans
and violent detractors. Fistfights break out. But when the dust settles, Hugo's romantic ideas dominate French theater.

1831
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. The art of the novel is never the same after this bold, groundbreaking effort. The book results in the
restoration of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.

AUTUMN LEAVES. Intimate poetry.

1832
THE KING TAKES HIS AMUSEMENT. A play about womanizing King Francis I and his noble jester. Banned by the authorities. Guiseppe Verdi
uses the plot for his opera, RIGOLETTO.

1833
LUCRECE BORGIA and MARIA TUDOR. Hugo writes these two dramas for the actress Juliette Drouet.

1834
LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY MINGLED. Essays.

CLAUDE GUEUX. Another novel denouncing the death penalty.

1835
SONGS AT DAYBREAK. Political poetry. Increasingly, Hugo involves himself in partisan disputes.

ANGELO. A drama of passion and revenge in the sixteenth century.

1837
INNER VOICES. Vivid verse.

1838
RUY BLAS. A play about a princess loved by a poor poet. A barely-veiled cry for political reform.

1840
SUNBEAMS AND SHADOWS. Ambitious poetry on religion, social problems, politics and philosophy.

1842
THE RHINE. A travel book.

1843
THE BURGRAVES. A melodrama set in medieval Germany. It flops big time.

1848
THE EVENT. A newspaper begun by Hugo to advance his political views. Within three years, he is forced into exile.

1852
NAPOLEON THE LITTLE. Satirical comparison between Napoleon III (Hugo's political nemesis) and Napoleon I.

1853
PUNISHMENTS. Political satire in poetic form. Here, Hugo completely abandons classical patterns and discovers a freer, fully-formed poetic voice.

1856
CONTEMPLATIONS. Poignant poetry inspired by the death of Hugo's daughter Leopoldine.

1859
THE LEGEND OF THE CENTURIES. In verse, Hugo develops a complex vision of a universe shaped by man's imperfection. He will wrestle with
this theme throughout the rest of his life.

1862
LES MISERABLES. A smashing international success. A huge novel, plotted like a detective story, with unforgettable depictions of life in Paris.
Ultimately, it details man's search for true justice.

1864
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. A celebration of poetic imagination and human genius.

1865
SONGS OF LANE AND WOOD. Light, lyric, pastoral poetry.

1866
TOILERS OF THE SEA. A novel dedicated to the sailors of Guernsey, the island where Hugo endures much of his nineteen-year exile from France.

1869
THE LAUGHING MAN. An anti-feudalism novel set in 17th-century England. The hero's deformed face is twisted into a permanent smile.

1872
THE TERRIBLE YEAR. An account of the siege of Paris and the rise of the Commune during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

1873
"1793." A novel on the French Revolution.

1875
BEFORE EXILE and DURING EXILE. Collections of Hugo's political speeches and essays.

1876
SINCE EXILE. More political material.

1877
THE ART OF BEING A GRANDFATHER. Light verse inspired by grandchildren Georges and Jeanne.

THE LEGEND OF THE CENTURIES, SECOND SERIES. More phantasmagoric poetry exploring the secrets of creation.

STORY OF A CRIME. Written in exile, this recounts the coup that put Napoleon III on the throne of France.

1878
Victor Hugo suffers a stroke. Although no longer writing, he continues publishing previously written manuscripts.

1879
THE SUPREME PITY. A long poem arguing that a criminal deserves pity because his first victim is himself.

1880
THE ASS. A donkey narrates this poem about human thought.

RELIGION AND RELIGIONS. A poetic attack on materialism and established sects.

1881
THE FOUR WINDS OF THE SPIRIT. Dramatic, epic, lyric and satiric poetry.

1882
TORQUEMADA. A scathing play about Spain's inquisitor general.

1883
THE LEGEND OF THE CENTURIES. Once again, Hugo uses verse to muse on metaphysics and mankind.

1885
Victor Hugo dies. An enormous backlog of work remains, to be published posthumously.

1886
THE END OF SATAN. An epic poem of heaven and earth, light and shadow.


FREE PLAYS. Dramatic work from 1854 onward.

1888
THE WHOLE LYRE, part one. More poetry.

1891
GOD. Another theological poem. Hugo summarizes his own religion in one word -- Love.

1893
THE WHOLE LYRE, part two. Even more poetry.

1898
THE FATAL YEARS. Poetical politics.

1902
LAST GLEANINGS. Bits and pieces of poetry stitched together by Hugo's literary executor.

1942
OCEAN and HEAP OF STONES. Fragments collected from all stages of Hugo's career.