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Something Concerning The Antecedents Of Victor Hugo

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Víctor Hugo, who began Fobruary 27th, the 80th year of his age, led a strange life n bis early childhood, and a full record of ít, did we possess one, would be as romantic as any story he has totd. Born when Napoleon was n the (uil flush of power, bis parents had boen identified with the two opposing parties which in thu last century were ia violent struggle for supremacy in Jirauce. His uiother was an ardent royalíst, a native of La Vendee, the laat and most unyielding stronghold of the church and nobiluy. She bad a part in the famous insurrectioo of La Vendee, where 100,000 iL8?ïe believed t0 have been lost, and with Mtues. de Bouchamp and de Larocheiaquelin, was surrounded in a wood and subdued after the insurrection had long baffled the skill of generala to put t down. Hugo's natcrnal grandfather, who belonged to the old nobility and dated his title from the middle of the 16th centurj-. died on the scaffold under Kobespierre. The fathcr of the poet linked his fortunes with Bonaparte, becauie a general in his army, and finally a governor of important proviuces in Spain. Before the boy was five years of age Gen. Hugo's office had carried hiin toKlba, Corsica and Switzerland, and then into Calabria to suppress Fra Diavolo. Into these countries he took is son, and in Italy allowed him to study Koman history and the I talian language. Before young Hugo was eight he had seen Spain. It was fitting that a ctiild who had witnessed so much snould develop early the genius of authorship that was in him. He wrote verses of stnking merit m the lOth year of his age, thus offering a parallel to the precocity of many huglish authors- Pope. Chatterton and öryant, not to mention Tasso among ltahan. He shared, in a sense, the fate of Uryant nd his "Thanatopsis," for at 15, when he sent a jirize essay to the acadeuy he failed of the prize, becaase the judges would not believe so young a person was the author of the essay. It is" known to tew outside of France that Hugo has had two brothers who made a mark as writers. Une was a historian of considerable repute in í rance.the othera poet, who died in 1 837. Kminent authors with brothers who have made names as writers are couimon in this century- a fact which we do not remember to have seen remarkod. A list of them would include, besides Hugo, Tennyson, Larlyle, Cardinal Newman, and Oflr own Isryant and IweH.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News