Beyond the Brownings–Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Victor Hugo ABLCourtesy of the Armstrong Browning Library

By Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Victor Hugo, a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement, is considered one of the greatest and most recognized French writers. His best-known works are the acclaimed novels Les Misérables (1862) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

Hugo’s works at the Armstrong Browning Library include one letter and seven books, one of them rare.

Victor-Hugo-book-1Victor-Hugo-book-2Victor Hugo. Thèatre De Victor Hugo. Paris: Charpentier, Libraire-Editeur, 1844.

This volume is a first edition.

Victor-Hugo-letter-1Victor-Hugo-letter-2Letter from Victor Hugo to Monsieur de Fiennes. No date.

Monsieur de Fiennes may have been an advocate at Bruxelles and later appointed Minister of Finances of France in 1840.


Frederick-Tennyson-to-EBB-xxFrederick-Tennyson-to-EBB-13Letter from Frederick Tennyson to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 29 September 1860.

The brother of Alfred Lord Tennyson spent most of his life in Italy and Jersey, a small island off the coast of Normandy. But, for twenty years he lived in Florence, where he was a friend of Robert and Elizabeth Browning. In this letter, written while in Jersey to Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Siena, Italy, Frederick Tennyson, mentions that:

 We have had Victor Hugo here this summer he came to attend a Garibaldi meeting and made a grand oration. He seems still to be in great vigour & though I could see his face but imperfectly from the opposite side of the room his voice is clear & lion-like–


Beyond the Brownings: The Victorian Letter and Manuscript Collection

By Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Beyond-the-BrowningsScholars know the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University as a world-class research library devoted to the lives and works of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In addition to housing the world’s largest collection of books, letters, manuscripts, and memorabilia related to the Brownings, the library houses a substantial collection of primary and secondary materials related to nineteenth-century literature and culture. The Victorian Letter and Manuscript Collection includes almost 2,500 items from literary, political, ecclesiastical, scientific, and cultural figures in the nineteenth century. Letters, manuscripts, and books from Prince Albert, Queen Victoria, Matthew Arnold, Charles Babbage, J. M. Barrie, William Cullen Bryant, Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Michael Faraday, W. E. Gladstone, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Victor Hugo, Thomas Henry Huxley, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, George MacDonald, John-Henry Newman, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, John Ruskin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, William Makepeace Thackeray, John Greenleaf Whittier, and William Wordsworth will be featured in the exhibit. In future blogs about the exhibit you can find out how Elizabeth Barrett Browning was related to Charles Babbage, where Victor Hugo spent his summer vacation, who was b__k b__ll__ed, and what happened to Miss Brodie’s cow.