The Man Who Laughs

Novel, Historical fiction by Victor Hugo


A critic in The Galaxy who admired Hugo's The Man Who Laughs (1869) and spoke with him about it called Hugo "a dreamer, a radical, a splendid, salient figure." It is one of his bitterest indictments of the cruelty and selfishness of society. Victor-Marie Hugo is known abroad for his novels, especially Les Miserables and Notre-Dame de Paris, but in France for his poetry and plays. More a leftist with each passing year, he was forced into exile during the reign of Napoleon III and lived briefly in Belgium. Hugo was a political man, speaking out against the death penalty and in favor of pacifism and freedom of the press. In his youth, he was a Catholic but later was a Spiritualist and a Deist.

First Published


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