Books: Sublime Child

VICTOR HUGO—Matthew Josephson—Doubleday, Doran ($3.50).

With this book Matthew Josephson fills a gaping hole in U.S. biographical writing (hitherto there has been no good life of Victor Hugo) and adds another superb study to his series of great French literary figures (Zola and His Time, Jean-Jacques Rousseau). In the U.S. the great champions of democracy have always been practical politicians. In France they have usually been literati.

Between Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Emile Zola, there were no writers so influential as Victor Hugo. The last half of his life (he lived to be 83) was...

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