victor hugo

Victor Hugo was a great traveller; nowadays he would be quite a tourist.

In the summer of 1836, he and his mistress Juliette Drouet, an actress, set out from Paris on a trip to Mont St Michel, spending some time sightseeing in Bas-Maine.

They were accompanied by Célestin Nanteuil, who was to illustrate later most of the writer's works. They arrived in Lassay around 5 o'clock in the afternoon on the 20th June.

Victor seemed to have been enchanted by the place, "J'ai vu Lassay, charmante petite ville demi-sauvage, plantée tout au beau milieu des chemins de traverse, qui a trois vieux châteaux, dont deux admirables que j'ai dessinés........ Le troisième n'a plus que quelques ruines situées au milieu des arbres les plus farouches du monde."

They came up to the Barbican gate of the château, demanded entrance for the night, and were peremptorily chased from the entrance by the concierge.Maybe because they were travel-weary and dusty after their journey, or maybe because he had instructions not to allow anyone in who looked a tad scruffy. Who knows? The fact remained; they were told in no uncertain terms to get lost. "A dame nanin, passez vot'chemin, les mait'ont défendu de recevoir les vagabonds"

hugo Deprived of baronial comfort for the night, they were forced to go back into town and stay at the "Cheval Blanc" (The White Horse Inn). The inn is still there today, on the corner of Grande Rue and rue Dorée and is now known as ...... wait for it ...... Pub Victor Hugo!




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