Victor Hugo: Les Châtiments [The Punishments]

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Katherine Lunn-Rockliffe (University of Oxford)

Victor Hugo’s Châtiments (1853) is a volume of satirical verse protesting against Louis-Napoléon’s coup d’état of 1851. It marks the beginning of a decade of intense poetic production and the emergence of the prophetic style which became characteristic of Hugo’s later verse. His poetic voice had always been both confident and original, and his verse had frequently dealt with contemporary events, but in Châtiments the combination of political anger and literary inventiveness is taken to a new level. The book is a blistering denunciation of Napoléon III’s abuse of power, revealing Hugo’s talent for invective, and establishing him as a vocal defender of R…

1966 words

Citation: Lunn-Rockliffe, Katherine. "Les Châtiments". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 March 2017 [, accessed 30 January 2023.]

11230 Les Châtiments 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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