Friday 23 November 2012

Author's note for LUTETIA: Darkness Beneath the City of Light

In his youth, Victor Hugo was a devote Catholic and Royalist, loyal to the Monarchy and even wrote odes praising King Charles X and his family. Suddenly, in 1827, Victor Hugo changed drastically. He became a 'Free Thinker' and started writing plays and poems against the King and the Royal Family. There is no record as to what caused this turnaround in Victor Hugo. Even in his own memoirs, there is no mention of anything of importance in 1827, except for box office receipts from one of his plays.
But something did happen in 1827. Victor Hugo was inspired somehow to write an anonymous short story against capital punishment in 1828, and a stage play that caused a riot in the streets of Paris in 1830 - the same year he started writing 'Les Miserables' (which would take another 17 years to complete). What might have transpired that would alter his perspective so drastically?

“History has its truth, and so has legend. Legendary truth is of
another nature than historical truth. Legendary truth is invention
whose result is reality. Furthermore, history and legend have the same
goal; to depict eternal man beneath momentary man.”
             –Victor Hugo

Excerpt of first few chapters available on official website (with bonus materials):

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