Victor Hugo Encyclopedia

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Though he wrote more than a century ago, French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885) continues to capture the imagination of contemporary readers both in France and around the world. In the United States, he is best remembered as the author of the novel Les Mis^D'erables (1862), which has been adapted for the stage, and of Notre-Dame-de-Paris (1831), more commonly known to Americans as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. But Hugo was also a poet and dramatist, a great religious and social thinker, and one of the most important shapers of French Romanticism. As a poet, he created new verse forms, explored historical and mythological themes, and criticized social issues of his time. Through his drama, he united prose and poetry and examined the politics of England and Spain. In all of his works, he discussed such theological and social issues as the problem of evil, the nature of war and peace, and the problems of capital punishment.

The volume begins with a short biography that places Hugo within the context of 19th-century France. The biography tells of his early years during which he began to form his religious and political views, his maturation as a writer and thinker during the 1830s, and his political exile, during which he wrote some of his finest poetry. The alphabetically arranged entries that follow discuss his works, characters, themes, and ideas, as well as historical persons and places that figured prominently in his life and writings. Many of the entries cite sources of additional information, and the volume closes with a selected, general bibliography.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

For Frey, this work was clearly a labor of love. Recommended for French literature collections, and for undergraduates through faculty.



The encyclopedia is well organized and broad ranging….A successful, comprehensive depiction of the life, work, and influences of the man who wrote the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables, this is a useful encyclopedia for reference and a meaningful addition to literary collections.


Library Journal

A successful, comprehensive depiction of the life, work, and influences of the man who wrote the ^IHunchback of Norte Dame^R and ^ILes Mis^D'e^Rrables^R, this is a useful encyclopedia for reference and a meaningful addition to literary collections.


Library Journal

^IA Victor Hugo Encyclopedia^R fills an important gap for public and academic libraries because nothing similar exists in English.


American Reference Books Annual

An excellent, in-depth examination for serious Hugo scholars.



Library Journal
Frey (emeritus, George Washington Univ.) compiled this broad-based guide to one of France's most important and political literary figures expressly for English-speakers; he does not intend for it to compete with but rather to "complement" its well-established French antecedents. A fairly comprehensive view of Hugo's time and work, the encyclopedia is well organized and broad ranging. Entries, organized alphabetically, include analyses of most of Hugo's poems, novels, and plays. (The titles of individual works and pieces have been translated into English.) Entries are not limited to works and characters but include personalities and places that influenced the poet (e.g., Napoleon, John Brown, Latin America). A successful, comprehensive depiction of the life, work, and influences of the man who wrote the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Mis rables, this is a useful encyclopedia for reference and a meaningful addition to literary collections.--Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313298967
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Pages: 328
  • Lexile: 1380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN ANDREW FREY was Professor Emeritus of Romance Languages and Literatures at The George Washington University.

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Table of Contents


Biographical Sketch

Alphabetical Entries

Selected Bibliography

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