Victor Hugo finished writing Notre Dame de Paris on this day in 1831, the book that has since become better known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Hugo had constantly delayed delivering the manuscript to his publisher but once he began, he finished writing the story of Quasimodo and the beautiful gypsy name Esmeralda in just four months.

Hugo, the son of one of Napoleon’s soldiers, wrote Hunchback as a study of Romantic aesthetic and his goal was to garner attention to Gothic architectures in Paris. By the early 19th century, many of these structures had become neglected and vandalized with graffiti

If you want to read a first-person account about the Notre Dame Cathedral, check out Big Honey Dog, a site by my friend Hsin-Yi Cohen, a fellow travel writer. She has stunning photos and really lovely descriptions of what it was like to visit there last summer.


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