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Victor Hugo's Life in Guernsey

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Hauteville House, 38 Hauteville, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 1DG.

  • Romantic
  • Heritage
  • Fine Arts

Victor Hugo is just one of many famous faces who have graced our shores. Exiled from his native France, the author of ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Toilers of the Sea’ spent 15 years in Guernsey from 1855 and fell in love with both the island and his home, Hauteville House (pictured). Tours of the house offer fans of his work a chance to experience how he lived and see where he wrote some of his most famous books and poems. As an enthusiastic collector of second-hand furniture and bric-à-brac, Hugo brought back sideboards, carpets, mirrors, crockery, figurines and all manner of things from his excursions around the island, incorporating them in all manner of creative ways into his extraordinary and extrovert designs. The house has been preserved exactly as it was: as Charles Hugo put it, the house is "a veritable three-storey autograph, a poem in several rooms". Hugo’s writing room, the Crystal room, is right at the top of the house and offers breathtaking views over the island’s capital, St. Peter Port, and across to Hugo’s homeland. If you are interested in Hugo’s private life, visit Victoria Tower, where it is said Hugo regularly went to meet his lover, French actress Juliette Drouet. Their initials, VH and JD, are said to be etched somewhere into the tower’s interior granite walls, so have a look and see if you can find them… Finish your day with a dip in the clear waters of Havelet Bay where Hugo liked to swim, enjoy his favourite coastal path to Fermain Bay, or stroll from Pleinmont to Port Soif, where Hugo sought inspiration.

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