Born on February 26, 1802, Victor Hugo is a celebrated French author, best known for his novels Notre-Dame de Paris and Les Misérables. A leading figure of the Romantic Movement, Hugo was also a poet and dramatist.

Although he obtained a law degree, Hugo was much more interested in writing. Encouraged by his mother to follow his passion, young Victor founded a review, the Conservateur Littéraire, in which he published his work and the work of his friends.

Hugo was only 20 years old when his first volume of poetry Odes et Poésies Diverses, established his reputation as a poet and earned him a royal pension.

After the Revolution of 1848, when Napoleon III came into power, Hugo was banished from his country as he did not share the same political views. He remained in exile for nearly 19 years -– this was the most productive period of his life, in which he wrote some of his best work (including Les Misérables).

Hugo’s writings showcase emotion, love, beauty, and his deep humanitarian beliefs. He was among the most important cultural figures of his time and continues to be one in the modern world.

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

To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.

Life is the flower for which love is the honey.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

There is something more terrible than a hell of suffering – a hell of boredom.

People do not lack strength; they lack will.

The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.

Where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.

There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.

The human soul has still greater need of the ideal than of the real. It is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we love.

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.

You who suffer because you love, love still more! To die of love, is to live by it. 

Not being heard is no reason for silence.

Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.

Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed.

It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.

When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.

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

Our mind is enriched by what we receive, our heart by what we give.

An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.

Those who do not weep, do not see.

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.