Maison de Victor Hugo is a museum in Place des Vosges in Paris. This museum is in fact the redecorated apartment where Victor Hugo and his family lived between 1832 to 1848. Four of his major works were written while Hugo was living in this apartment. This museum was established during the centenary of the writer’s birth. The rooms in this museum are arranged in such a way to provide a glimpse into the various phases of the writer’s life.
Victor Hugo’s life is divided into three phases – Before exile, Exile and After Exile. As a politically and socially active citizen, Hugo openly criticized Louis Napoleon(Napoleon III). As a result, Hugo had to move out of Paris following the 1848 revolution. He returned back to Paris in 1870. There are seven rooms in this museum depicting the three different phases in the writer’s life.
The phase “Before Exile” comprises of two rooms – Anteroom and Reception Room, Place Royale. Anteroom is filled with pictures of Hugo’s childhood and youth. This room contains the portraits of his parents and also siblings. The Reception Room shows where Hugo met with his friends and contemporaries while staying at this apartment.
The phase “Exile” comprises of three rooms – Juliet Drouet’s Chinese drawing room in Guernesey, Juliet Drouet’s Medieval drawing room in Guernesey and Victor Hugo’s study. Juliet Drouet was Hugo’s mistress and he spent most of his time during exile in Guernesey in the house known as Hauteville House. The Chinese drawing room and Medieval drawing room are recreated from his abode in Guernesey.
The phase “After Exile” comprises of two rooms – Victor Hugo’s drawing room, rule de Clichy and Victor Hugo’s bedroom, avenue d’Eylau. His famous portrait is hung in this section on the walls of the drawing room. The bedroom is decorated with various items including the writing table where Hugo wrote while standing up.
The museum features many portraits and other memorabilia donated by his friends. For an avid reader, this place strikes a chord as it is the nearest one can be to the talented writer.