Jersey Heritage Trust - Education Service

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Jersey as an inspiration, promenades in the Parishes.


St. Martin's parish occupies Jersey's North East corner.

Mont Orgueil, a proud fortress facing France was much admired by the Hugos and their visitors. However, it was the more ancient monuments which brought to the poet the most fertile inspiration.

Two dolmens, in the same parish, but with strikingly different settings gave to some poems in Les Contemplations a deep sense of the elemental, of the mysteries of  Creation, Death and the Great Beyond:
  • Le dolmen de Rozel or Couperon de Rozel, standing above the rocky beach of la Saie, has inspired :Ibo, 1853 (l.6, II) and Ce que dit la Bouche de l'Ombre.
    There is no doubt that the message brought by the shadowy apparition reached the poet through the influence of many exhausting séances at the Tables Tournantes.


Le dolmen de Rozel by Victor Hugo ©MVH

Le dolmen de Faldouet
phot. ©JHT
  • In Nomen,Numen,Lumen 1855 (l.6, xxv), Le Dolmen de Faldouet seen at midnight by the poet, marked the beginning of the visionary flashes triggered off by the séances.

Victor Hugo took a passionate interest in prehistoric stones, likening their appeal to that of ancient monuments in Greece: the Channel archipelago was like Cyclades of the North, Jersey the Cythera or Lemnos of the Celts.

He lamented the transporting to Henley on Thames of a remarkable ensemble of stones, le Dolmen de la Ville, which had stood above Saint Helier, and had been presented to Governor Conway

Impressions of other "Druidic" stones, like La Table des Marthes near la Corbière, appear in les Contemplations and other writings.

Life in Jersey
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Introduction
Beliefs
Women in his life
Aknowledgements

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