Today marks 220 years since the birth of French writer Victor Hugo on 26 February 1802. Hugo is best known for his great classic novels Les Misérables  and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame , and was also a passionate social and political activist who famously supported the abolition of the death penalty, the view that was taken in his short novel The Last Day of a Condemned Man .
“Our mind is enriched by what we receive, our heart – by what we give.”
“The future has several names. For the weak it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal” (Victor Hugo).
“Each face, each stone, of this venerable monument, is a page of the history, not only of the country, but of the science and the art” (Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame [1831: 110]).
“It was a singular destiny…for the church of Notre-Dame, at that period, to be thus beloved in two different ways, and with so much devotion, by two beings so unlike as Claude and Quasimodo – loved by the one, a sort of half-human creature, instinctive and savage, for its beauty, for its stature, for the harmonies dwelling in the magnificent whole; loved by the other, a being of cultivated and ardent imagination, for its signification, its mystic meaning, the symbolic language lurking under the sculpture on its front, like the first text under the second in a palimpsestus – in short, for the enigma which it eternally proposes to the understanding” (Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame [1831: 155]).