Friday, March 20, 2009

Esmerelda

The theatre in Fougeres is named Theatre Victor Hugo. I have wondered what connection this acclaimed writer had with the town.

I found that in 1836 Victor Marie Hugo visited Fougères with his mistress Julliet Drouet.

He liked the town and said "At present I am in the Fougères area, in a town that should be visited piously by painters, in a town with an old castle, flanked by the most superb towers in the world. I have seen it in sunlight, I have seen it at dusk and I have seen it again in the moonlight. I will never grow tired of it. It is admirable"

Damn it, I wish I had said that, but I don't use the word pious, ever.

It turns out that Victor was a man who liked the ladies, although his mistress Julliet spent most of her life dedicated to this talented man. Juliet was in fact born in Fougeres but was educated in Paris and apparently was a good writer.

He spent many years in exile after speaking out against Napoleon III and lived on the Island of Jersey, in fact this is where he wrote Les Miserables, which has again become well known with many theatre goers.

He wrote many, many, poems and books, and I had no idea that he wrote what we know today as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. That poor old hunchback who loved his Esmerelda!
Victor was also a talented artist.

If you want to read a little more about Victor here is a link to Wikipedia.

A link about the love in his life.
A link about Les Mis
Here is a photograph of the Theatre Victor Hugo and the Julliet Drouet cultural centre.


Vics Place.


The French word for dusk is crépuscule.

The French word for moonlit, éclairé par la lune.

Etymology for the word pious.

6 comments:

Robyn said...

I really enjoyed this post! I went through a stage (for about 2 years)during my late teens when I read everything I could get my hands on about Degas, Suzanne Valedon, Lautrec, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola and all the arty types who gathered in Montmartre during the Romantic era into the Impressionist era.
Fougeres sounds wonderful. ...I don't use the word pious either.

Blu said...

Glas that you enjoyed it, I love finding out about places, people and history.

LadyFi said...

Had to laugh out loud when you wrote Hugo lived on Jersey and wrote Les Miz... any connection, I wonder?

French Fancy said...

I never knew he lived on Jersey. I've never read Les Mis - I know there is an abridged version (of course I disapprove of anything that makes literature easy) but I've never read it or the long (proper) one. Maybe one day - if I get a spare couple of months.

My mum nearly called me Esmerelda.

claire p said...

Cor another history lesson. I thought blogging was just fun, but it's really educational! The building is beautiful, they don't make them like that anymore.

Blu said...

Haa haa LadyFi, do you think he was miserable on Jersey?

French fancy, would you like the name Esmerelda?

Claire I hope the history isn't too boring, I just look at places, or street names and wonder WHY???