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Cover: Ilustration by Victor RodriguezCover illustration from a bronze byAuguste Rodin pencil on board byVíctor Rodríguez, 2005

Victor Hugo. A Realistic Biography of the Great Romantic
by Matthew Josephson.
(6' by 9', Perfect Bound 532 pp) $32.95 ISBN 0-9742615-7-2
Originally published by Doubleday, Doran & co., inc. 1942


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With trenchant realism and profound understanding, Matthew Josephson presents in VICTOR HUGO the realistic biography of a great romantic who wrote Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Name, among others. Of tremendous sweep and scope, it is a penetrating analysis of a literary titan, who as a political pamphleteer, playwright, novelist, and romantic lover, dominated his time, influenced his peers, and moved the hearts of men.

Matthew Josephson, whose Stendhal, Zola, The Robber Barons, and Rousseau defined him as a master of the art of biography, has given us in VICTOR HUGO a highly readable account of this vigorous, zestful, and fruitful career. VICTOR HUGO is the final and definitive work on “France’s prince of poets and lord of language.”


“Matthew Joseph’s third full-blown biography of a great French writer…is the best. There is more color and drive in it …because the materials are so rich.”

  • New York Times Book Review (1942)

“Victor Hugo’s varied and colorful career offered Josephson a perfect opportunity to display again his gift for spirited narrative and keen characterization.  He skillfully traces Hugo’s conversion from literary great to political hero. Along the way he adds texture to his portrait by interweaving the fascinating components of Hugo’s personal life –his marriage to Adèle Foucher, his fifty-year liaison with Juliette Drouet, and his friendship and betrayal by Sainte-Beuve…Victor Hugo’s life was a success story without parallel, and it provided an apotheosis of Josephson’s point about the duty of writers in times of social and political crisis. The critics again praised Josephson’s talents as a biographer.”

- David E. Shi, Matthew Josephson: Bourgeois Bohemian, Yale University Press, 1981

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About the Author
Since his early life Matthew Josephson (1899-1978) shown extreme versatility: he wrote poetry, extensive biographies (Zola, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Stendhal and  Edison) essays on political issues, newspaper articles, personal chronicles (Life Among the Surrealists: A Memoir) . Today he is best known as the author of The Robber Barons, He was also an experienced and successful Wall Street broker and businessman.

Josephson's chief concerns were nineteenth-century French literature and twentieth-century American capitalism. In the 1920's lived in Paris and Berlin where he became acquainted with the European Dadaists and Surrealists as Paul Eluard, Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, and Max Ernst.

In Stendhal Matthew Josephson thought he ha discovered the meaning of his own life.

David E. Shi. Matthew Josephson, Buergeois Bohemian, Yale University, 1981 Move to Top

Head First

"Books that are enjoyable learning gears"

Stendhal || Victor Hugo || Paul Samuelson || Thomas Mann || Herman Hesse || Nigel Holmes || Zhang Xin
Marta Merajver || Matthew Vescovo || Jean Jaques Russeau || Alan Siegel ||Victor Rodriguez || Virginia Shiller




Herman Hesse & Thomas Mann


Jean-Jacques Rousseau

El Secreto de las Flores


La Conversación

Ceniza de Orquidea

Challenge to Venus

A Breeze of Morning

Sobre Politica

Dialogos Con Economistas