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Though the great French novelist, poet and dramatist Victor Hugo's work has gone in and out of favor since his death in 1885, few have ever forgotten his masterpiece, Les Miserables nor that he is the author to have created the "Hunchback" of Notre Dame. The collected works of Victor Hugo encompass eighteen 1,500 page manuscripts -- almost more than any one reader could possibly encompass. Victor Hugo's life spanned the 19th century in France, from Napoleon Bonaparte to the Republics to revolution and coup 'd etat. When Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (later to become Napoleon III) was elected President of France in 1849, Victor Hugo was originally elected a deputy to the new regime. But "le petit" Napoleon's ambitions soon led to Hugo's firm opposition. He left France for an nineteen-year exile, during which time he wrote Histoire d'un Crime, or The History of a Crime, which tells the story of Napoleon III's accession to power -- the book was first published in 1877, following Hugo's eventual return to France from his two-decade exile.
Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885) was a French poet, novelist and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Hugo is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside of France, his most famous works are the novels Les Miserables, 1862 and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, 1831. In France, Hugo is known primarily for his poetry collections, such as Les Contemplations (The Contemplations) and La Legende des siecles (The Legend of the Ages). Hugo was at the forefront of the romantic literary movement with his play Cromwell and drama Hernani. Many of his works have inspired music, both during his lifetime and after his death, including the musicals Notre-Dame de Paris and Les Miserables. He produced more than 4,000 drawings in his lifetime, and campaigned for social causes such as the abolition of capital punishment.