Victor Hugo Quotes

Victor-Marie Hugo, 1802 – 1885

Born: 26 February 1802, Besan
Died: 22 May 1885, Paris, France

Hugo was born into a house divided by both politics and religion. His father Léopold was an atheist, a republican, and a general under Napoleon; his mother Sophie was an extreme Catholic royalist. Neither of them were particularly faithful to the other. At first the family moved with Léopold’s assignments, in 1803 Sophie took the children to Paris, and supervised Victor’s education. Victor’s first known poetry came at age thirteen, his first published collection came at twenty. His first work of fiction, The Last Day of a Condemned Man, came in 1829 and influenced a number of other authors including Camus, Dickens, and Dostoevsky. His first full-length novel was The Hunchback of Notre-Dame in 1831. He was elected to the French Academy in 1841 and elevated to the peerage the same year, arguing against the death penalty and social injustice and for freedom of the press in the Higher Chamber. His republican views led to his election to the Constitutional Assembly and the Legislative Assembly under the Second Republic, but led to his exile in 1851 when Napoleon III seized power. He spent most of his exile on the British-controlled island of Guernsey; when a general amnesty was announced in 1859 Hugo declined to return as he wished to continue to criticize the government. He wrote most of Les Misérable while in exile, it was published in 1862. Although not a musician, his works have inspired over a hundred operas. In 1848 he stopped writing to focus on politics, for the next three years his creative work was visual, mostly small pen and pencil works on paper, although he never showed or sold any of his art. He was a founding member of the association which pushed for international copyright laws, directly leading to the Berne Convention which was established the year after his death. For his 80th birthday a parade was organized, it took six hours to pass by as he sat at a window of his house. He was buried in the Panthéon, sharing a crypt with Alexandre Dumas and Émile Zola, over two million people were in the funeral procession from the Arc de Triomphe to the mausoleum.

Victor Hugo quotes:

A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity, and can command it.
    Victor Hugo

A day will come when a cannon will be a museum-piece, as instruments of torture are today. And we will be amazed to think that these things once existed!
    Victor Hugo – Opening address, Peace Congress, Paris (21 August 1849)

A day will come when there will be no battlefields, but markets opening to commerce and minds opening to ideas.
    Victor Hugo – Opening address, Peace Congress, Paris (21 August 1849)

A faith is a necessity to man. Woe to him who believes nothing.
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

A great artist is a great man in a great child.
    Victor Hugo

A library implies an act of faith.
    Victor Hugo

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible and invisible labor. To contemplate is to toil. To think is to do.
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.
    Victor Hugo

Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.
    Victor Hugo

Alas! to have risen does not prevent falling. We see this in history oftener than we would wish.
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

Almost all our desires, when examined, contain something too shameful to reveal.
    Victor Hugo

Amnesty is as good for those who give it as for those who receive it. It has the admirable quality of bestowing mercy on both sides.
    Victor Hugo

An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.
    Victor Hugo

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
    Victor Hugo – Histoire d’un crime (1877, 1878)

Anger may be foolish and absurd, and one may be irritated when in the wrong; but a man never feels outraged unless in some respect he is at bottom right.
    Victor Hugo

Architecture has recorded the great ideas of the human race. Not only every religious symbol, but every human thought has its page in that vast book.
    Victor Hugo

As a means of contrast with the sublime, the grotesque is, in our view, the richest source that nature can offer.
    Victor Hugo

As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled.
    Victor Hugo

At a certain depth of distress, the poor, in their stupor, groan no longer over evil, and are no longer thankful for good.
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.
    Victor Hugo

Be it true or false, what is said about men often has as much influence upon their lives, and especially upon their destinies, as what they do.
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

Be like the bird, who halting in his flight
  On limb too slight,
Feels it give way beneath him, yet sings
  Knowing he has wings.
    Victor Hugo

Blessed be Providence which has given to each his toy: the doll to the child, the child to the woman, the woman to the man, the man to the devil!
    Victor Hugo

But who ever does attain to his ideal?
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
    Victor Hugo

Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
    Victor Hugo

Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.
    Victor Hugo

Concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life.
    Victor Hugo

Courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones, and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
    Victor Hugo

Did a voice whisper in his ear that he had just passed through the decisive hour of his destiny, that there was no longer a middle course for him, that if, thereafter, he should not be the best of men, he would be the worst?
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

Do not let it be your aim to be something, but to be someone.
    Victor Hugo

Doing nothing is happiness for children and misery for old men.
    Victor Hugo

Dream no small dreams. They have no power to stir the souls of men.
    Victor Hugo

Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.
    Victor Hugo

England has two books, the Bible and Shakespeare. England made Shakespeare, but the Bible made England.
    Victor Hugo

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

Everything being a constant carnival, there is no carnival left.
    Victor Hugo

Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats.
    Victor Hugo – Villemain (1845)

Fashions have done more harm than revolutions.
    Victor Hugo

For prying into any human affairs, none are equal to those whom it does not concern.
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.
    Victor Hugo

Freedom in art, freedom in society, this is the double goal towards which all consistent and logical minds must strive.
    Victor Hugo

Genius is a promontory jutting out of the infinite.
    Victor Hugo

Give to a being the useless, and deprive him of the needful, and you have the gamin.
    Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)

What do you think?

2k Points
Upvote Downvote

Written by MoneyNet

MoneyNet is the team behind the research and fact-checking of our net worth listings. We strive to provide the most up-to-date listings of the wealthiest people in the world from a wide range of industries and professions. If you have a tip, or think that we have something factually incorrect, then please let us know. Aside from that, enjoy learning everything there is to know about the rich and famous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Cullen Hightower Quotes

Stonewall Jackson Quotes