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Focus on ... Victor Hugo and Juliette Drouet

Actualité Focus on ... Victor Hugo and Juliette DrouetActualité Focus on ... Victor Hugo and Juliette Drouet

Or ... how the passion of Victor Hugo for his mistress reflected in the autograph items he addressed him intimately to his passion for the political struggles and the humanistic causes.


Composed in 1857, The Supreme Pity, long philosophical poem on the French Revolution, was originally intended to conclude the Legend of the Centuries. Victor Hugo finally published in 1879 to mark its position in favor of the Communists.
Plea for the abolition of the death penalty, the Supreme Mercy illustrates one of the first and most fervent political struggles of Hugo, he still carries on the eve of his 80th birthday: "If my name means something these fatal years where we are, it means Amnesty "(letter to the citizens of Lyon, 1873)
Confronting Hugo and Machiavelli, JC Fizaine emphasizes intellectual rigor of the poet in the service of humanity built in universal principle:
"Machiavelli is for those who want to become princes. Hugo is intended to begin to peoples that have suffered tyranny: it is the Supreme Mercy, which defines what must remain immutably sacred, human life, without hatred, resentment, the memory of past suffering to allow violate this prohibition, under penalty of not being able to create any political regime and falling on this side of civilization. "(Victor Hugo thinker of secularism - A cleric priest and citizen)

It is with Juliette Drouet he leads this last fight. Published in February 1879, shortly after Eylau Avenue facility Supreme pity seems to echo the new political legitimacy conquered by the two old lovers after 50 years of guilty love. The ultimate battle of Hugo in favor of amnesty and forgiveness resonates in his emotional life like the poem he composed for Juliet's death in 1883:
"On my tombstone, it will, as great glory,
The deep memory, loved, fought,
Of a love that was foul and became under ... "

It also beautifully dedication to Juliet a copy of the Supreme Mercy "first copy the feet of my lady"

Similarly, from its inception to its late opening, the Ruy Blas history is inextricably linked to that of Juliette Drouet.

Recluse home throughout the writing of the play, Juliet was the first reader, August 12, 1838 (Hugo finished writing 11). She immediately falls in love with this romantic drama that Hugo promises the title role alongside Frédérick Lemaître:
"What a miracle that your room, my poor beloved, and you're good to letting me watch the first! I had never heard anything so beautiful. I do not even except your other masterpieces. It is a rich, magnificence, dazzled (...) Oh my sunshine, you blinded me for a long time. "
Soon, Juliet knows the play by heart, some fiercely referring to the relationship of the poet and actress, "Madam, under your feet, in the dark, a man is there who loves you, lost in the night that the veil; Suffering, earthworm in love with a star; Who will give for his soul, if necessary; And that is dying down when you shine above "(Act II, Scene 2). August 15, Hugo confirms him the role of the queen. Juliet could not hope for a better proof of love: "I see the glory, happiness, love and adoration, all in gigantic dimensions and impossible ..."

Unfortunately, far from the glory predict expected, the new mark the beginning of the open Adele, who was previously little involvement in her husband's adulterous relationship war.
At the end of the summer, Adele writing to the theater, "I see the success of the compromise part (...) because the role of the Queen was given to a person who was a member of the fuss made to Mary Tudor . (...) The opinion (...) is unfavorable (...) the talent of Miss Juliet. (...) This lady is said to have relations with my husband. - While personally convinced that this noise is completely devoid of merit, (...) the result is the same. (...) I have some hope that you (...) give the role to someone else. ". This will be the mistress of Frederick Lemaitre will inherit. Juliette does not hide his dismay: "I carry the grief of a beautiful and admirable role that is dead to me forever. (...) I have more than you can imagine grief. "And even if Ruy Blas does not meet the expected success, his passion for the play remains intact:" I shed my blood for you, for your part. " On 5 December 1867, when the Odeon planning a revival of the play, Napoleon III made the ban because "it is not necessary that the scandal of Hernani is renewed." Juliette is still affected by this injustice that Hugo, as evidenced by his voluminous correspondence. His letters on the subject are collected in the book by Paul Souchon (Around Ruy Blas. Unpublished Letters of Juliette Drouet To Victor Hugo, Albin Michel, 1939).

For years, she campaigned for his rehabilitation and, when Ruy Blas 1872 has finally met at the Odeon, and says she attends every step of this resurrection. So at the end of the first reading of Hugo comedians, January 2, 1872: "Victory, my beloved great! Deep and enthusiastic audience with all your emotions. (...) Ruy Blas from beginning to end is the masterpiece of masterpieces. I'm out of there dazzled, delighted, loving you, admire you and adore you as the first day I heard you. It was about me, just now at home, who was the most moved and transported to the author and the play. I am ashamed to tell you so bad, but I yield to the needs of my heart full of your genius and love. Here you are, my loved, I hasten to kiss your wings and feet. "

Sarah Bernhardt in the role of the queen, the play is a triumph that will grow over the performances.
The day after the first, Juliette says that expected for more than thirty years consecration: "You see, my beloved, as I told you the truth about the amazing and wonderful enthusiasm of the spectators yesterday. Never you don '[en] have been able to have and do bigger. It was a general frenzy that was increasing with each verse. Your sublime poetry subdued all souls and the fragrance of worship out of all hearts we felt. The thunderous applause was so loud and so continuous that gushed electric sparks from all hands. (...) As for me, I feel in this blessed month renewal of love and I think all my sweet memories bloom again and perfume my soul with happiness. And I would submit to your feet divine bouquet. "

It was Victor Hugo who finally deposits "at the feet of [his] lady"   this masterpiece of romanticism as a token of their mythical love.

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