Hauteville House was Victor Hugo’s Island home in Guernsey. The only home the author owned, Hauteville House was loving decorated by Hugo and gives great insight into his daily life. Now cared for by the City of Paris, Hauteville House is essentially a little piece of France in Guernsey.
The house has been preserved exactly as it was, meaning that visitors can still enjoy what was described by Charles Hugo, the poet’s son, as “a veritable three-storey autograph, a poem in several rooms”.
Hugo purchased the house in 1856 soon after his arrival in Guernsey thanks to the success of his “Contemplations”, and he continued to live there until his return to France in 1870 after the fall of the Second Empire. During his time in the house, Hugo spent months overseeing a grand redesign of the interior to reflect his own taste and creativity. Many of the objects and features within the house were designed and made by Hugo himself, such as the magnificent archway in the entrance hall which was inspired by his novel, “Notre Dame de Paris”. Along with Hauteville House itself, the site also boasts a large garden that overlooks St Peter Port, filled with trees and flowers growing in abundance due to Guernsey’s mild climate.
It was during his time at Hauteville House that Victor Hugo wrote some of his most influential and well-known works, such as “Les Miserables”. His love of this Island and the inspiration it brought is evident in his novel “Les Travailleurs de la Mer” (Toilers of the Sea), which is dedicated to the people of Guernsey and was written from his room in Hauteville House, overlooking the harbour at St Peter Port.