In 1851 Victor Hugo left France for an exile which would last 19
On 16 May 1856, thanks to the success of his 'Contemplations', he
bought Hauteville House in Guernsey, a large white building with a
garden overlooking the sea.
An enthusiastic collector of secondhand furniture and bric-à-brac,
he brought back a profusion of chests, sideboards, carpets,
mirrors, crockery, figurines and other objects from his excursions
around the island. He put his boundless imagination to work on the
house, spending months overseeing a major conversion on a medieval
pattern, which gave this unique building an inner force and
mystery. Hugo lived in Hauteville House until 1870, when he
returned to France after the fall of the Second Empire, but he
stayed here again for a year in 1872-73, for a week in 1875 and for
four months in 1878.
In March 1927, the centenary year of the Romantic Movement, the
house was donated to the City of Paris by the poet's descendants
Jeanne, Jean, Marguerite and François.
Hauteville House has
been preserved exactly as it was. Hugo's abundant creativity is
displayed in the astonishing richness of its decoration. As Charles
Hugo put it, the house is "a veritable three-storey autograph, a
poem in several rooms".
To view this interesting article by Ann Mah published May 4, 2012