Victor-Marie Hugo, born on 26th February 1802 in Besançon in Eastern France, spent his first year travelling from place to place due to his father’s career in the Napoleonic Army. His father claimed Victor’s mother, Sophie, conceived him on a peak in the Vosges Mountains in Eastern France on 24th June 1801. Victor Hugo later used this date as the prisoner number of Jean Valjean, the protagonist of 'Les Misérables': “24601”.

Hugo started his writing career with his brothers, who established the periodical 'Le Conservateur littéraire' (The Literary Curator). Hugo wrote his first mature novel, 'Le Dernier jour d’un condamné' (The Last Day of a Condemned Man) in 1829, and in 1831, he published the hugely successful 'Notre-Dame de Paris' (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame).

When Napoleon III (1808-73) seized power in 1851, Hugo openly called him a traitor for his anti-parliamentary ideas. As a result, Hugo gained many enemies, prompting him to flee to the Bailiwick of Jersey, the largest Channel Island. Hugo’s politics caused more problems, and in 1855, Jersey expelled Hugo from the island. So, Hugo spent the next 15 years in exile on the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

While in exile, Hugo produced his most notable work, 'Les Misérables' (The Miserable Ones). Since its publication, 'Les Misérables' has been adapted into films, radio productions, television programmes and a musical.

On 22nd May 1885, at the age of 83, Victor Hugo passed away from pneumonia.

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