Message Gérard Larcher

Message from Mr. Gérard Larcher, President of the Senate

Victor Hugo, a great writer, an experienced parliamentarian belonging to the heritage of humanity

30 years ago, Mr. Daisaku Ikeda acquired the Château des Roches, in Bièvres, to create the Maison Littéraire de Victor Hugo.

The approximately 4,500 pieces patiently collected over the years – books, engravings, photographs, letters, manuscripts – are all moving testimonies of the most famous of French authors.

The link that unites the Senate to Victor Hugo naturally led the High Assembly and this Literary House to collaborate in the context of joint exhibitions.

A man of many facets, Victor Hugo was not only an illustrious poet, a great writer, but also a committed politician: Peer of France, deputy, finally senator from 1875 to his death in 1885, he raised the parliamentary mandate to its highest level of dignity.

Victor Hugo was involved in all battles, from universal suffrage to freedom of the press, from the abolition of the death penalty to the reform of the judiciary, from free and compulsory education to women’s rights.

A supporter of bicameralism, he refused to vote for the Constitution of the Second Republic of November 4, 1848, which established a single assembly. “France governed by a single assembly; that is, the ocean ruled by the hurricane. »Things Seen (November 4, 1848)

Entering the Senate alongside Gambetta, he fought fiercely for the amnesty of the Communards, he immediately took the lead in the fight for the establishment of the Republic.

The Republic, in which he believed, was both the extension of the Age of Enlightenment, popular sovereignty, universal suffrage, the government of all by all, the rule of law, the condition of freedom in all its dimensions and social justice.

Victor Hugo sat in the Senate until 1885. He was the embodiment of freedom, social equality and fraternity. The political path taken by Victor Hugo is certainly rare. It is, in his case, all the more admirable.

This seasoned parliamentarian, this romantic hero undoubtedly belongs to the heritage of humanity. It is part of this heritage that this Literary House allows us to rediscover.