Léopoldine Hugo

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Léopoldine Hugo
Auguste de Chatillon - Léopoldine Hugo.jpg
Portrait of Léopoldine Hugo. Painted by Auguste de Châtillon in 1836, on the day of her first communion.
Born Léopoldine Cécile Marie-Pierre Catherine Hugo
(1824-08-28)28 August 1824
Paris, France
Died 4 September 1843(1843-09-04) (aged 19)
Villequier, France
Nationality French
Spouse(s) Charles Vacquerie
Parent(s) Victor Hugo
Adèle Foucher

Léopoldine Hugo (Léopoldine Cécile Marie-Pierre Catherine Hugo; 28 August 1824 – 4 September 1843) was the eldest daughter of novelist, poet, and dramatist Victor Hugo and his wife, Adèle Foucher.

Early life[edit]

Léopoldine was born in Paris, the second of five children and eldest daughter of Victor Hugo and Adèle Foucher. She was named after her paternal grandfather,[1] as was her late brother Léopold (who died barely after his birth.)

Léopoldine had many suitors for marriage including her future husband, Charles Vacquerie, whom she met while on holiday in 1839.[2]

Later life and death[edit]

She married Charles Vacquerie at Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis on 15 February 1843, but they both drowned together only a few months later, when their boat capsized on the Seine in Villequier on 4 September 1843. She was 19 years old and pregnant and she died when her wet, heavy skirts pulled her down, and her husband died trying to save her. This tragic event had a great impact on the work and personality of her father, Victor Hugo. He dedicated numerous poems to the memory of his daughter, notably Demain dès l'aube and À Villequier in Pauca Meae, the fourth book of Les Contemplations. Victor Hugo did not write for several years afterwards owing to the clinical depression he developed following Léopoldine's death.


  1. ^ Graham, Robb. Victor Hugo: A Biography. W.W. Norton, 1997, p. 682.
  2. ^ http://www.hautevillehouse.com/leopoldine.html

External links[edit]