ODES AND VARIOUS POEMS. Early poetry.
HAN OF ICELAND. Historical romance. Hugo is just warming up.
BUG-JARGAL. A forgotten novel about a slave revolt in Santo
Domingo. Hugo wrote the first edition when he was 16 years old.
ODES AND BALLADS. More poetry.
CROMWELL. This verse play is too lengthy to stage. Its preface,
however, makes Hugo famous. In it, he argues for a romantic rebirth of
MARION de LORME. Outraged censors ban this shocking drama. The
lead character is a loose woman. The role of King Louis XIII is deemed
crude and offensive.
THE LAST DAY OF A CONDEMNED MAN. A novel protesting the
death penalty. Hugo's first "mature" novel.
ORIENTAL POEMS. Echoes the era's popular romantic themes.
HERNANI. The literary establishment is scandalized by this play's
unabashed romanticism. The opening night audience splits between
ardent fans and violent detractors. Fistfights break out. But when the
dust settles, Hugo's romantic ideas dominate French theater.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. The art of the novel is never
the same after this bold, groundbreaking effort. The book results in the
restoration of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.
AUTUMN LEAVES. Intimate poetry.
THE KING TAKES HIS AMUSEMENT. A play about womanizing
King Francis I and his noble jester. Banned by the authorities. Guiseppe
Verdi uses the plot for his opera, RIGOLETTO.
LUCRECE BORGIA and MARIA TUDOR. Hugo writes these two
dramas for the actress Juliette Drouet.
LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY MINGLED. Essays.
CLAUDE GUEUX. Another novel denouncing the death penalty.
SONGS AT DAYBREAK. Political poetry. Increasingly, Hugo involves
himself in partisan disputes.
ANGELO. A drama of passion and revenge in the sixteenth century.
INNER VOICES. Vivid verse.
RUY BLAS. A play about a princess loved by a poor poet. A
barely-veiled cry for political reform.
SUNBEAMS AND SHADOWS. Ambitious poetry on religion, social
problems, politics and philosophy.
THE RHINE. A travel book.
THE BURGRAVES. A melodrama set in medieval Germany. It flops big
THE EVENT. A newspaper begun by Hugo to advance his political
views. Within three years, he is forced into exile.
NAPOLEON THE LITTLE. Satirical comparison between Napoleon III
(Hugo's political nemesis) and Napoleon I.
PUNISHMENTS. Political satire in poetic form. Here, Hugo completely
abandons classical patterns and discovers a freer, fully-formed poetic
CONTEMPLATIONS. Poignant poetry inspired by the death of Hugo's
THE LEGEND OF THE CENTURIES. In verse, Hugo
develops a complex vision of a universe shaped by
man's imperfection. He will wrestle with this theme
throughout the rest of his life.
LES MISERABLES. A smashing international success. A huge novel,
plotted like a detective story, with unforgettable depictions of life in
Paris. Ultimately, it details man's search for true justice.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. A celebration of poetic imagination and
SONGS OF LANE AND WOOD. Light, lyric, pastoral poetry.
TOILERS OF THE SEA. A novel dedicated to the sailors of Guernsey,
the island where Hugo endures much of his nineteen-year exile from
THE LAUGHING MAN. An anti-feudalism novel set in 17th-century
England. The hero's deformed face is twisted into a permanent smile.
THE TERRIBLE YEAR. An account of the siege of Paris and the rise of
the Commune during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.
"1793." A novel on the French Revolution.
BEFORE EXILE and DURING EXILE. Collections of Hugo's political
speeches and essays.
SINCE EXILE. More political material.
THE ART OF BEING A GRANDFATHER. Light verse inspired by
grandchildren Georges and Jeanne.
THE LEGEND OF THE CENTURIES, SECOND SERIES. More
phantasmagoric poetry exploring the secrets of creation.
STORY OF A CRIME. Written in exile, this recounts the coup that put
Napoleon III on the throne of France.
Victor Hugo suffers a stroke. Although no longer writing, he continues
publishing previously written manuscripts.
THE SUPREME PITY. A long poem arguing that a criminal deserves
pity because his first victim is himself.
THE ASS. A donkey narrates this poem about human thought.
RELIGION AND RELIGIONS. A poetic attack on materialism and
THE FOUR WINDS OF THE SPIRIT. Dramatic, epic, lyric and satiric
TORQUEMADA. A scathing play about Spain's inquisitor general.
THE LEGEND OF THE CENTURIES. Once again, Hugo uses verse to
muse on metaphysics and mankind.
Victor Hugo dies. An enormous backlog of work remains, to be
THE END OF SATAN. An epic poem of heaven and earth, light and
FREE PLAYS. Dramatic work from 1854 onward.
THE WHOLE LYRE, part one. More poetry.
GOD. Another theological poem. Hugo summarizes his own religion in
one word -- Love.
THE WHOLE LYRE, part two. Even more poetry.
THE FATAL YEARS. Poetical politics.
LAST GLEANINGS. Bits and pieces of poetry stitched together by
Hugo's literary executor.
OCEAN and HEAP OF STONES. Fragments collected from all stages of
I got most of this list from a Disney website that I found many
months ago, but I'm pretty sure that it's disabled now.
Comments? Questions? Want to add something? Mail me at: