A short recap: Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist. He greatly furthered the influence of the Romanticism movement in France and strove to be just like Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand. Most notably, Victor Hugo wrote the novel Les Miserables in 1862. The world knows him for his novels Les Miserables and Notre Dame de Paris.
In France, however, he is known as one of the country’s greatest poets. He was exiled due to his strong political affiliation with Republicanism. This is important to understand, because much of Hugo’s work touched on the political and social issues faced in his time.
Les Miserables was written in the 1830s, but wasn’t recognized for its greatness and published until 1862. The story is about social misery and injustice. Hugo knew he had written something incredible and waited for the highest bidder to publish it.
The shortest correspondence in history is said to have been between Hugo and his publisher Hurst and Blackett in 1862. Hugo was vacationing when the novel was being released and he wanted to know the reaction his work had gotten. He sent a single character to his publisher “?” and they sent a single character response back, “!”