Charles-Victor Hugo was the son of the poet Victor-Marie Hugo. Charles-Victor became an editor, and was jailed in 1851 for writing an article on the death penalty. When Louis-Napoleon seized power in 1851, Victor-Marie's republican beliefs drove him into exile, first to Brussels and then to the island of Jersey, where Charles-Victor joined him in voluntary exile.
In March 1853 Charles-Victor left Jersey for Caen and spent two weeks learning photography from a family friend. Together with the poet August Vacquerie, who followed Hugo into exile, he photographed family and friends. They intended to publish a volume that was to have included poetry and drawings by Victor-Marie, prose by Vacquerie, Charles-Victor, and his brother, François, and photographs by Charles-Victor, titled Jersey et les îles de la Manche. It was announced in La Lumière as a "great event for literature and photography" but never saw publication. Instead, the photographs were mounted in private albums and given to friends.
Jammes, Andre and Eugenia Parry Janis. The Art of French Calotype. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990: 188-189.
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