Romanticism pp 101-118 | Cite as

Victor Hugo: Preface to Cromwell

  • John B. Halsted
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


Victor Marie Hugo (1802–1885), was a chief spokesman for the artistic rebellion that was French Romanticism. The production of his play Hernani (1830) became the moment of battle for young artists and authors (Berlioz, Delacroix, and Gautier supported him) against political censorship and conservative classical criticism; whatever the qualities of the play, it helped break the hold of classical theory and the impress of Racine and Corneille on the French stage. Not at all incidentally, it heralded a blurring of the distinctions that had long set off the popular melodrama as an entertainment of the lower classes from the high tragedy aimed at cultured audiences.


Social Instinct Epic Poetry Young Artist Reading Committee Ancient Tragedy 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Halsted

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