Victor Hugo Conference 2019
page-template-default,page,page-id-16148,bridge-core-1.0.2,woocommerce-no-js,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,paspartu_enabled,qode_grid_1200,overlapping_content,columns-4,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-18.0.9,qode-theme-bridge,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.0.2,vc_responsive

Victor Hugo Conference 2019

The Programme

Please keep checking this programme. Speakers and their subjects will be publicised once the information becomes available.

Friday 28th June

During the day Island and St. Peter Port Tours will be available with Hugo accredited guides.

17:30 Vin d’Honneur in the Priaulx Library. Centre of local history and Victor Hugo in particular.

18:30 Barbeque Supper in the grounds of the Library.

20:00 Screening of the internationally acclaimed film of L’Homme qui rit, which has English subtitles.

Saturday 29th June

09:00 Conference registration in the Harry Bound Room at Les Côtils Centre.

09:30 Beautiful inside & out, by Gérard Audinet
‘Beautiful inside and out.’ Does the soul have a face? We are all familiar with the concept of ‘inner beauty,’ but how do artists approach the problem of depicting it? This illustrated talk will reflect on the representations of ugliness and beauty in later arts and media of Victor Hugo’s ‘The Man who Laughs.’

10: 30 Break for discussion, coffee or tea

11:00 Justice in The Man who laughs, by Myriam Roman
The novel examines the judicial system and questions its contribution to a horrifying perversion of the sacred nature of justice. It seems unique in asking a fundamental question: is there such a thing as divine injustice?, through a set of metaphors which conjure up, on a cosmic scale, terrifying images of trial and punishment.

12:00 Victor Hugo & The sea by Gregory Stevens Cox
Book launch. At the start of his exile, Hugo set himself a grand project – to study l’Océan. He threw himself into the project with enthusiasm – he learned about all aspects of the sea. He wove his knowledge, sentiments, and observations into his poetry and into two great novels – ‘The Toilers of the Sea’ and ‘The Man who Laughs.’

12:30 Buffet lunch 

13:30 L’Homme qui rit & its many faces, by Bradley Stevens
150 Years of Grins and Grimaces. This illustrated talk discusses the story’s diverse appeal and various guises in print, on screen, and on stage, including Bristol Old Vic’s acclaimed musical entitled ‘The Grinning Man’. Drawing on his interviews with the show’s cast and creative team.

14:30 Disability & deformity in L’Homme qui rit, by HannaH Thompson
‘L’Homme qui rit’ is a novel about the power of non-normative bodies. This illustrated talk will argue that Hugo’s depictions of his characters’ disabilities and deformities are surprisingly modern: rather than seeing disability as a problem, Hugo celebrates it as a radical and politically progressive way of life.

15:30 Break for discussion, tea or coffee.

16:00 How The man who laughs was received, by Gérard Pouchain
The verdicts of Juliette Drouet and the caricaturists. How did Victor Hugo’s masterwork go down with his most acute, but very different, critics?

16:30 – 17:00 Speakers Panel, Q & A

18:00 Conference Supper on Les Côtils Terrace.

20:00 An evening celebrating the music of Boublil and Schönberg at St. James Concert Hall
Together with lyricist Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg created two of the greatest international successes in the history of musical theatre, ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘Miss Saigon.’ In a rare public encounter, Claude-Michel Schönberg will sit down with writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson to discuss his journey from songwriter, record producer and singer.

Sunday 30th June

Hauteville House – Restored


Recently €4.5m has been invested in the restoration of Hauteville House – Hugo’s Exile home.

This extraordinary building is considered to be more of a work of art than a museum and therefore small parties of 10 visitors are accompanied by guides for security and safety purposes, but also for a full 1 hour explanation of the meaning of Hugo’s many hidden details.

The Society has been allocated 4 sessions exclusively for delegates. You send your requirements to the Society by email and you will receive a confirmation of your booking. Then you pay Hauteville House the £10 entry fee (Card or GBP cash only) upon arrival.

If the times we have available are not convenient or fully booked, then you may of course directly contact Hauteville House.

French tours starting at: 11:20 and 14:00English tours starting at: 12:00 and 14:40


Please call the Society Hon. Secretary Roy Bisson on 07781 100 296 or email:

If you prefer not to pay for your tickets online, please click the button download, fill out the order form and pay for your tickets by cheque.


By Sea
Manche Isles Express from Dielette at 09:00 on 28th, returning 18:00 on 30th June
The French tour agency “Jerseytour” has a visitor package for 28th to 30th June that includes accommodation.
Condor Ferries from St. Malo at 12:55 on 28th, returning at 13:50 on 1st June. Also from and to Poole daily.

By Air
FlyBe flies from Charles de Gaule, Paris at 10:30 on 28th via Exeter, returning at 18:30 on 30th June.
Aurigny flies from Bristol at 12:20 on the 28th, returning at 10.55 on 1st July.