Do you know who Victor Hugo is? I guess yes, particularly after his book Les Miserables has become so popular worldwide again, thanks to the recent Hollywood movie and the famous musical.
Everyone knows the beautiful story of Les Miserables in these days, but do you know Victor Hugo was also a great interior designer? Do you know how the celebrated French author got the inspiration for his masterpieces? Do you know he had political views that were amazingly modern and innovative for his times? I got to know all this in a day and without reading a book!
You don't believe me?
Do like I did, take a flight from London to Guernsey, and in less than an hour you will be in Victor Hugo's world. You will love Guernsey. Guernsey is a little and beautiful island situated in the English Channel, a few miles away from the coast of France. Guernsey is a little heaven of sunshine and wonderful sandy beaches.
Have you heard of Hauteville House?
Hauteville House is Victor Hugo's house in Guernsey, where he lived and wrote in exile from France for fifteen years. All of the house, including the garden, has been designed and decorated personally by him. Visit the house, and you will know who Victor Hugo was. He bought very unusual antiquities from different parts of the world, he made himself amazing furniture pieces reassembling old broken furniture, he ordered beautiful paintings and decorated the house with great artistic taste. He especially planted an oak in the garden to celebrate the future united states of Europe a century before its birth.
Inside the house, Hugo's name is written, carved or painted in every room, like a painter he signed his own works of art. It was his obsession. His signature is painted on the stairs; his initials are hidden in the kitchen mantelpiece; his name is carved in the wardrobe in his large bedroom. He designed his house playing with the colours, the dark and the light. Visiting the building from the bottom to the top you will experience the author's ascension from material duties to the intellectual exercises, from ignorance to culture, from earth to sky, as he described his own life and the path that humanity should follow.
At the top you will see the best: A large terrace mastering a wonderful panorama of the island overlooking St Peter Port, the Channel Islands and his beloved France. Victor Hugo wrote and – would you believe! - slept every night in a large glasshouse built on this terrace. He refused to sleep in his comfy large bedroom downstairs, where he only slept once in his life, preferring to sleep alone in a cold recess on an old bed couch, because – he wrote - the ever changing light and the wild sea gave him the inspiration for his books.
Take a flight, go to Guernsey and meet the French genius!