by Floria Thames
Floria Thames is a writer and artist… only occasionally, otherwise too busy with merciless day jobs.
Actually Floria is much more than this, but it’s how she modestly describes herself. Some of us like to call ourselves writers, and some of us are. I’m more of a scribbler myself, but Floria, she’s the real deal. She’s a class act, generous, compassionate, extremely intelligent, very well read, (a) sensitive, insightful and articulate (in several languages). She’s a very good artist as well…in fact, from what I’ve seen, Floria has swags of talents to share and brighten this world, and deserves every opportunity to do so.
I’ve known Floria for many years now. Throughout she has been my muse, my confidante and my inspiration, but we have never met personally. I am privileged to call her a very dear friend.
I am thrilled to bits that Floria Thames has agreed to write an article for this blog and hope with all my heart that this opens a door for her to show the world what she has to offer it. – Ellis
Probably Jean Cocteau defined him best: “Victor Hugo was a madman who thought he was Victor Hugo“. We all know that famous list from the “Dossiers Secrets”, published by Lincoln, Baigent and Leigh, back in 1982. But, to avoid getting biased by the “da Vinci codes” industry, let’s go further back, to the 1959 Classiques Garnier edition of “Notre Dame de Paris” and, there, in the preface, we’re told that Victor Hugo had spent four days with Charles Nodier in Reims, in 1825. And that these four days of tête-à-tête proved to be of great importance in the prehistory of the novel (Raymond Escholier said this, cited by J-B Barrere). Charles Nodier was (allegedly, of course) the Grand Master of the Priory of Sion until 1844, when Victor Marie Hugo will take over the helm, followed in 1885 (after his death) by Claude Debussy, only for the list to (“officially”) close with Jean Cocteau in 1963.
Victor Hugo had an incredible personal life, full of drama, tragedy and passion. His brother, Eugène, with latent schizophrenic tendencies, had fallen (as well) in love with Victor’s fiancée, Adèle, and, according to some records, “went mad on the day of the wedding and ultimately had to be committed to an asylum where he died in 1837” (John Chambers). It must be added here (for those in the know) that Victor’s wedding with Adèle Foucher took place in Église Saint-Sulpice de Paris, in 1822. After so much romantic waiting, love poems and exaltation, double betrayal was to follow: Adèle started a tumultuous affair with her husband’s close friend, literary critic and fellow writer and poet, Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve:
If the devastation of deceit and jealousy (which had turned his world up-side-down) was not enough, full-blown tragedy struck: his daughter drowned at only 19:
In fact, as a tragic father, the writer survived all his children, apart from Adèle (named after her mother), who was to end up in a mental asylum, just like her uncle Eugène, victim of “schizophrenia”:
And, just like Arthur Conan Doyle, who tried to contact his son Kingsley through spiritualist sessions, Victor Hugo attempted to speak to Léopoldine – and not just to her – via séances. A book has been written, extensively, about this mediumship period, during their exile in the Channel Islands, nothing short of gripping and intriguing:
Now, back to “Notre Dame de Paris” (1831) and to all those conspiracy theories. In February 2001, I wrote down on a piece of paper: Esméralda l’Égyptienne and I started to anagram.
What I came up with, was: Seinte Magdalene Péril. I took the novel from the shelf and started to read it again.
Is this a novel about Mary Magdalene? (just asking)
Just came to my mind: in July 2001, these two posters were plastered side by side in Wembley Park Station, Metropolitan line. They came my way (while going into work) just when I was wondering if the anagram made any sense…
8 thoughts on “Who Was Victor Hugo?”
Thank you to Floria Thames for this marvellous article, and thank you so much, Ellis, for being such a lovely, brilliant and generous man. Merci infiniment!
Dear Vivi, I’m so glad you liked it, thank you! Yes, Ellis is such a magnanimous soul; gives you that refreshing feeling that people like Victor Hugo are still among us, that “they make them” these days too (and that we’re all, somehow, connected – proof of this, I’ve only now realised that 2015 is the 130th anniversary of V.H.’s (not complete!) “disparition” (and neither Ellis or myself were aware of this. Probably he prompted Ellis to add his photo too):
You are so right to say that we are all connected, Floria. I heard someone say, “Dossiers secrets” and “Menace” about corruption in their country three times on Wednesday, and here are Victor Hugo’s fearsome face and the interesting links that you have posted! I will surely go to see these expos when I’m Paris next week. Thank you for this, Floria. And Ellis, your time as a model confirms my theory that many super models have occult powers, and are in fact archangels, who have come to help us in every way possible. I believe that they fight evil simply with their good looks, as in Beauty against the Beast. Your site is very healing. Again, thank you!
Dear Vivi, thank you for commenting again. You are very kind and although I appreciate the compliment on my looks I’m just someone who is doing their best. To hear that this site is accomplishing its purpose is very good to hear. Thank you. Your tender heart shines through Vivi. Enjoy yourself in Paris.
Hi Vivi, many thanks for your comment. Fingers crossed we’ll be having more fascinating articles from Floria.
Thank you for sharing this Ellis and thank you Floria for such an interesting piece of work. I learn every day there is so much of interest in everything especially historical:-)
Hi digilly1, thank you for commenting on this great article. Hopefully it will help to encourage more from Floria.
Dear digilly1, thank you ever so much! It’s a satisfying exercise indeed to spot the interesting side of people, life and history in this dual universe; but another thing altogether, to be able to find inner peace and happiness after doing this. Wishing you every success in both!