Jeanne Hugo

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Jeanne Hugo
Jeanne Hugo Guernsey.jpg
Hugo in 1890
Léopoldine Clémence Adèle Lucie Jeanne Hugo

29 September 1869
Died30 November 1941
Resting placeCimetière de Passy
Known forgranddaughter of Victor Hugo
Spouse(s)Léon Daudet (1891-1895; div.)
Jean-Baptiste Charcot (1896-1905; div.)
Michel Negroponte (1906-1914; his death)
Parent(s)Charles Hugo
Alice Le Haene

Léopoldine Clémence Adèle Lucie Jeanne Hugo (29 September 1869 – 30 November 1941) was a Belgian-born French heiress and socialite during La Belle Époque. She was a granddaughter of French novelist, poet, and politician Victor Hugo. As an adult, Hugo was often written about in the press due to her status in Parisian high society and her connections to other members of the French elite.

Early life and family[edit]

Jeanne Hugo was born in Brussels on 29 September 1869, the third child of the journalist Charles Hugo and his wife Alice Le Haene. Her eldest brother died as an infant prior to her birth. Her surviving older brother was the artist Georges Victor-Hugo. Her paternal grandparents were the writer and politician Victor Hugo and Adèle Foucher. She was a great-granddaughter of Joseph Léopold Sigisbert Hugo and Sophie Trébuchet. A member of a prominent literary and political family, her paternal grandfather had been ennobled as a Pairie de France by Louis Philippe I in 1845. Born in the last year of the Second French Empire, Hugo was raised in a staunch Republican household. Her family, former loyalists to the Bourbon monarchy, opposed the Bonapartes. She was the niece of Léopoldine Hugo, François-Victor Hugo, and Adèle Hugo.

Jeanne with her grandfather and brother in 1872.

In 1871 Hugo's father died from a stroke. Her mother later remarried the actor Édouard Lockroy.[1] Hugo's grandfather did not approve of the new marriage, and took custody of Hugo and her brother, Georges. In 1877 she and her brother were the focus of her grandfather's book of poetry titled L'Art d'être grand-père.[2][3] When she was eleven years old, she was gifted a walrus-tusk paper cutter by the Finno-Swedish explorer Baron Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld from his voyage in the Arctic Ocean aboard the SS Vega. Her grandfather died in 1885,[4] leaving her with a vast inheritance.[5]

As a young adult, Hugo became a key figure of Parisian high society during the Belle Époque of the French Third Republic and was frequently written about in newspapers.[5] She was the aunt of the artist Jean Hugo.


In 1891 Hugo married the journalist Léon Daudet, the son of writers Alphonse Daudet and Julia Daudet.[6][7] The marriage was performed in a civil ceremony and not a Catholic mass, out of respect for Hugo's grandfather, who had staunch anti-clerical views. The wedding was a major event in Parisian society, attracting crowds of onlookers.[8][9] They divorced in 1895 and Hugo was awarded custody of their children, preventing Daudet from seeing them for thirteen years.[5]

In 1896 she married the scientist and explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot, the son of neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot.[6] He named Hugo Island after her grandfather. She divorced Charcot in 1905 on the grounds of desertion.[10]

In 1906 Hugo married Michel Negroponte, a Greek naval officer. They remained married until his death in 1914.[5]

Later life[edit]

In 1927, after the death of her brother, she went to Saint Peter Port, Guernsey to officially donate Hauteville House to the City of Paris. Hauteville had served as her childhood home when living with her grandfather in exile.[5] Hugo died on 30 November 1941 in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.


  1. ^ Henry, Stuart Oliver (September 30, 1921). French Essays and Profiles. E. P. Dutton. p. 277 – via Internet Archive. jeanne hugo.
  2. ^ "The Nation". J.H. Richards. September 30, 1903 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "The Illustrated American". Illustrated American Publishing Company. September 30, 1891 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "The End of an Era". Wonders & Marvels. October 21, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Victor Hugo and Guernsey: Jeanne Hugo". Priaulx Library.
  6. ^ a b Seymour, Miranda (August 27, 2009). "Book Review | 'Gilded Youth: Three Lives in France's Belle Époque,' by Kate Cambor" – via
  7. ^ "Letter penned to Alphonse Daudet, about the marriage of Léon Daudet and Jeanne Hugo by Marie Hugo on Bolerium Books". Bolerium Books.
  8. ^ Cambor, Kate (August 3, 2010). Gilded Youth: Three Lives in France's Belle Époque. Macmillan. ISBN 9780374532246 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Brower, Abraham T. H. (September 30, 1896). "International". Union Quoin Company – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "Jeanne Hugo and Jean Charcot at Hauteville House, Guernsey". PBS LearningMedia.