Adele Hugo (PART 1)

2017-05-12 10:52:20 | 英語・英会話


Adele Hugo (PART 1)






Kato, who is Adele Hugo?


Diane, have you ever heard of Victor Hugo?

Yes, of course I have... He is one of the world-famous French writers, isn't he?

So, you know about him, don't you?... Actually, I've written an article about him and his famous novel.




『パリの日本人』(A Japanese in Paris)

It is written in Japanese... So, unfortunately, you cannot read it... Anyway, in the above article I talked about his famous novel---"The Hunchback of Notre Dame."  Diane, have you read the novel.

Yes, I read it a long time ago.

By the way, Diane, have you watched the folowing movie?

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Trailer (1939)


<iframe width="500" height="350" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/PxWoOQt7dLw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

No, I haven't, but I viewed the following musical:


<iframe width="500" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tNxxv9vryvA?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

So, Diane, you like musicals, eh?

Yes, I do... Talking about Victor Hugo, is he famous even in Japan?

Oh, yes!  When I was a kid, I read a story about the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean.


Did you like it?

I didn't like it too much, but one scene was clearly implanted into my mind.

What kind of scene is that?

Well... Valjean, using the alias Monsieur Madeleine, has become a wealthy factory owner and is appointed mayor of a certain town. Walking down the street, he sees a man named Fauchelevent pinned under the wheels of a cart. When no one volunteers to lift the cart, even for pay, he decides to rescue Fauchelevent himself. He crawls underneath the cart, manages to lift it, and frees him.


The town's police inspector, Inspector Javert, who was an adjutant guard at the Bagne of Toulon during Valjean's incarceration, becomes suspicious of the mayor after witnessing this remarkable feat of strength. He has known only one other man, a convict named Jean Valjean, who could accomplish it.


How old were you when you read it for the first time.

I was ten or eleven years old, I suppose.

So, you were an avid reader, eh?

No, not really... in those days, the story of Jean Valjean was quite popular among the children of my age... so, naturally it interested me to a great extent.

Kato, have you watched the movie lately?

Not recently, but I watched it last year.


"Actual Page"

So, you watched it on April 8, 2016, huh? ... How did you like it?


<iframe width="500" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6BPLQzyXDSY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I wasn't impressed so much as I read the original story.

Talkng about Adele Hugo, is she related to Victor Hugo?

Yes, of course, she is the youndest daughter of Victor Hugo.

Adèle Hugo


(28 July 1830 - 21 April 1915)


Adèle Hugo was the fifth and youngest child of French writer Victor Hugo.
She is remembered for developing schizophrenia as a young woman, which led to a romantic obsession with a British military officer who rejected her.
Her story has been retold in film and books, such as "The Story of Adele H."


Adèle Hugo was raised in a cultured, affluent home in Paris, the youngest child of Adèle (née Foucher) and Victor Hugo, France's most famous writer.


Adèle Foucher

Adèle enjoyed playing the piano, and was known for her beauty and long dark hair.
She sat for portraits by several well-known Parisian artists.

In 1851, the Hugo family moved to the island of Jersey, after Victor Hugo was forced into political exile.
The family remained on the Channel Islands until 1870.
It was in Jersey that Adèle met Albert Pinson, the object of her obsession.

Illness and pursuit of Albert Pinson

Signs of mental illness became apparent in Adèle in 1856.
Adèle became romantically involved with a British army officer, Albert Pinson.

Pinson proposed marriage to Adèle in 1855, but she rejected the proposal.
Adèle had a change of heart, wanting to reconcile with Pinson, but he refused to be involved any further with Adèle.
Pinson continued his military career, being sent to the Sixteenth Foot Regiment in Bedfordshire in 1856, where he seldom saw Adèle.
Pinson then went to Ireland in 1858, upon promotion to lieutenant, where he was stationed until 1861.

Despite Pinson's rejection, she continued pursuing him.
Pinson developed a reputation for living a "life of debauchery".

Adèle followed him when he was stationed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1863.
Adèle's family worried for her well-being, and tried to track her whereabouts by letters.

In 1866, Pinson was stationed to Barbados, the British colonial centre in the Caribbean region.
He completely abandoned Adèle when he left Barbados in 1869.
Adèle did not find her way back to France until 1872, and in the interim, the Hugo family was unable to track her activities.

The mystery of Adèle's life in Barbados may have been revealed in an anonymous letter to the editor—signed only "P"—published in the New-York Tribune on May 27, 1885.
The head of the Catholic mission in Trinidad, Cathonoy, gave a similar account of Adèle's wretched situation in Barbados in a letter dated September 8, 1885.
He relates an incident where he met a Barbadian woman of African descent, named Madame Céline Alvarez Baa, who requested that a mass be said for Victor Hugo after news of the author's death.
Curious to know the reason for Madame Baa's interest in Victor Hugo, Cathonoy asked questions, and learned that Madame Baa had given Adèle shelter when she was abandoned on Barbados, where she was known as "Madame Pinson".

Adèle had been found wandering the streets, talking to herself, detached from her surroundings.
Madame Baa took the initiative to take Adèle to her family in Paris.
Adèle was then left in medical care.
A grateful Victor Hugo reimbursed Madame Baa for her expenses.


Adèle's obsession was a manifestation of erotomania.
Along with her other symptoms of mental illness, including hallucinations, Adèle's condition indicates schizophrenia.

The illness appeared in other members of the Hugo family.
Victor Hugo's brother Eugène was also schizophrenic.

She was ultimately sent to live in a mental institution for the affluent outside Paris.
She remained there until her death.
Out of Victor Hugo's five children, Adele was the only one who outlived him.

Much of what is known about Adèle's life and her pursuit of Pinson comes from her diaries and letters.
Adèle kept a journal while she lived on Jersey and Guernsey, which she titled Journal de l'Exil (Diary of the Exile).
She stopped keeping a diary by the time she landed in Barbados, due to her mental deterioration.

SOURCES: "Adèle Hugo"
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

How come you picked up Adele Hugo all of a sudden?

I've recently viewed the film: "The Story of Adele H."


"Actual List"

So you've watched 1,636 movies so far in Vancouver Public Library, haven't you?

Yes, I have.

So, Kato, you're a flick maniac, huh?

You're telling me... Look at Number 1624 in the above list.

So you watched "The Story of Adele H" on May 1, huh?... How did you like it?

I loved viewing it, which is a quite amazing movie.


"Actual Page"


<iframe width="500" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fvH77u47d7k?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Kato's Comment


This is a 1975 French historical docudrama directed by François Truffaut, based on Adèle Hugo's diaries.

It shows the life of Adèle Hugo, the daughter of world-famous Victor Hugo, whose obsessive unrequited love for a military officer leads to her downfall and insanity.


Her father places her in an asylum in Saint-Mandé, where she lives for the next forty years.

She gardens, plays the piano and writes in her journal.

Adèle Hugo died in Paris in 1915 at the age of 85.

Although it is an heartbreaking drama, the film almost appears like a dramedy when Adèle views the show of a greedy hypnotizer.

At the time I laughed my head off to death.

Superb is the performance of 20-year-old Isabelle Adjani as Adèle Hugo.

Did you really laugh your head off to death?

Well... of course, I exaggerated a bit, but the scene appeared quite hilarious... You should view the movie.

I think I'm gonna book the DVD.

You'd better hurry... Four people are still waiting...



(To be continued)

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