Victor Hugo on Things That Matter gives English speakers the social, historical, cultural, and biographical context that is essential for enjoying the writing and art of this genius of nineteenth-century France. The book's topical organization lets readers investigate Hugo's ideas about private and personal concerns-love, children, grief, nature, God-as well as public and politically important issues-liberty and democracy, tyranny, social justice, humanity, peace, and war.
Unlike other Hugo anthologies, Victor Hugo on Things That Matter offers introductions and notes in English and includes twenty-five of Hugo's watercolors and drawings. Readers will find key Hugo texts in the original French, along with the following supplemental information in English:
an overview of Hugo's importance and his private and public personas;
introductions to each chapter;
historical and cultural explanatory notes;
a time line of Hugo's life and work;
suggestions for further reading.
Marva Barnett is professor at the University of Virginia, where she also serves as director of the Teaching Resource Center.