Victor Hugo (1802-1885) is one of the most well-regarded French writers of the nineteenth century. He was a poet, novelist and dramatist, and he is best remembered in English as the author of Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) (1831) and Les Misérables (1862).
Hugo was born in Besançon, and became a pivotal figure of the Romantic movement in France, involved in both literature and politics. He founded the literary magazine Conservateur Littéraire in 1819, aged just seventeen, and turned his hand to writing political verse and drama after the accession to the throne of Louis-Philippe in 1830. His literary output was curtailed following the death of his daughter in 1843, but he began a new novel as an outlet for his grief. Completed many years later, this novel became Hugo's most notable work, Les Misérables.