'Victor Hugo', 1877.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photographic portrait of Victor Hugo [1802-1885] taken by Samuel Robert Lock [1822-1881] and George Carpe Whitfield, in 1877. One of the most important French writers of the 19th century, Victor Hugo's best known works include 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame', 1831, and 'Les Miserables', 1862. Hugo's political ideas won him both acclaim and hostility - he fled France in 1851 due to his opposition to Napoleon. At his death in 1885, however he was publicly celebrated, receiving burial in the Pantheon with great honours. This Woodburytype is from 'Men of Mark', a series of books featuring prominent men of the time, published between 1876 and 1883. A brief biographical esay by Thompson Cooper accompanies each portrait. The Woodburytype was a photomechanical proces patented in 1864 by Walter Bentley Woodbury (1834-1885). It produced high-quality images used for book illustration and remained popular until about 1900.