Victor Hugo at Jersey

The channel islands inspired Victor Hugo to write a book about the life of the Guernsey fishermen.

Why had Victor Huge left France ?

After a speech against Napoleon III, which he called "petit Napoleon", he was expelled from France. He spent some month
in Belgium, but was also banned from Belgium, because of his attitude to Napoleon III.

He headed 1852 in the age of fifty to Jersey together with its wife,2 daughters, one son and his mistress.

The first time they lived at the Pomme d'Or hotel. To find the right place for living wasn't easy. Victor Hugo wanted to live near the sea, his wife and daughter thirsted to live in the town and his son prefered the cliffs areas. Finally they moved to the Marine Terrace at Greve d'Azette, whcih was near the sea , a part of the town and craggy coastline.

Jersey was a convenient place for Victor Hugo, he could play pool, hold seances and sat at Le Dicq. Le Dicq gave Victor Hugo the feeling to see the roofs of Paris, on days when the fog swirled around the rocks. A badge at Le Dicq reminds that this was Victor Hugo favourite site in Jersey.

One of its favourite rambles was through the Queens Valley, passing the pastures and the forest. Today the Queens Valley Reservoir is located where once Victor Hugo walked. Indeed here is to be found some of the finest walking in Jersey, smooth going for the most part.

Victor Hugos wife adored Jersey, because of the well-organized bureaucracy  and low criminality. The only thing that displeased them, was the closing of the theatre and libraries on Sunday.

 
A newspaper essay, castigated a meeting between Queen Victor and Napoleon III, elicited a turmoil among the Jersianse.

They burned the newspapers and the editor was banned from Jersey. Victor Hugo tried to help the editor by a petition, but this exacerbated the situation and  Victor Hugo together with its family had to leave Jersey too.

The next 15 years Victor Hugo spent at Guernsey. After the dead of Napoleon III he could returned to France.

 

 

 

 

Share