Why Was Victor Hugo Exiled?

Why was Victor Hugo exiled from France? If you are questioning this; throughout this article your question will find an answer. Victor Hugo was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist, and politician. Victor Hugo was a royalist at a young age but soon he became a passionate supporter of republicanism politician.

Victor Hugo’s literary works and his opposition to absolutism made him a national hero of the French People. And, there was an event in his life when he was exiled from France during the time of Napoleon III.

Here in this article; we will discuss the reason for Victor Hugo’s exile.

Who Was Victor Hugo?

Victor-Marie Hugo, often known as Victor Hugo, was a French Romantic novelist, dramatist, poet, and politician. Born on February 26, 1802, in Besançon, France, Victor is considered one of the greatest writers of all time. His literary career spanned more than sixty years, during which he wrote in a variety of genres and forms.

Victor Hugo
Why Was Victor Hugo Exiled- Victor Hugo

He is best known for his novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1831)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Why Was Victor Hugo Exiled- The Hunchback of Notre Dame

and “Les Misérables” (1862)

Why Was Victor Hugo Exiled- Les Misérables
Why Was Victor Hugo Exiled- Les Misérables

. In France, Hugo is renowned for his poetry collections, such as “Les Contemplations” (The Contemplations) and “La Légende des siècles” (The Legend of the Ages).

He was also a committed royalist when young, but his views changed as the decades passed, and he became a passionate supporter of republicanism, serving in politics as both deputy and senator. He died on May 22, 1885.

Reasons Why Was Victor Hugo Exiled?

Victor Hugo was exiled from France due to his political beliefs and his vocal opposition to the regime of Napoleon III. After Napoleon III seized power in 1851 and established an authoritarian government, Hugo openly criticized him and declared him a traitor to France.

This led to Hugo being declared a political enemy and he was forced to leave the country. Hugo first sought refuge in Brussels, Belgium, but later moved to the Channel Islands, first to Jersey and then to Guernsey. He lived in Guernsey for 15 years, during which time he wrote some of his most famous works, including “Les Misérables”.

Despite being offered amnesty by Napoleon III in 1859, Hugo refused to return to France until the fall of the Second Empire in 1870. His exile was a significant period in his life and had a profound influence on his writing. It was during this time that he wrote “Les Misérables”, a historical novel that is considered one of his greatest works.

The novel, which criticizes social injustice and advocates for the poor and downtrodden, reflects Hugo’s own political beliefs and his opposition to authoritarian rule. Hugo’s exile ended in 1870 when the French Third Republic was established following the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War.

He returned to France where he was hailed as a national hero and continued to be an influential figure in French literature and politics until he died in 1885.

Why Victor Hugo Is Considered a National Hero Of France?

Though Victor Hugo had to deal with many controversies in his life; but Victor Hugo is considered a national hero of France for several reasons:

1. Literary Contributions: Hugo was one of the most gifted writers of his time. His most famous works, including “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Les Misérables”, have had a profound impact on French literature. He was at the forefront of the Romantic literary movement.

2. Political Activism: Hugo was also known for his political involvement. He served in Paris’s Constituent Assembly and Legislative Assembly after the Revolution of 1848. His opposition to absolutism and his literary stature established him as a national hero.

3. Social Advocacy: Hugo made significant contributions to the revolutionary cause. He became immensely popular among the working classes, viewed as a hero who exposed the underbelly of French society.

He campaigned for social causes such as the abolition of capital punishment and slavery.

4. Exile and Return: After a coup d’etat in 1851, Hugo fled France to live in Belgium and, later, the Channel Islands. In 1871 he returned to Paris, where he was received as a national hero.

5. Legacy: Hugo’s work touched upon most of the political and social issues and the artistic trends of his time. His death in 1885 was marked by a state funeral in the Panthéon of Paris, which was attended by over 2 million people, the largest in French history.

So, that’s all for this article. I’ve tried to put the pieces of information simply. Hope you have found your answer. Why was Victor Hugo exiled?

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