The Fall of the Paris Commune and Victor Hugo’s Expulsion from Belgium – 28 May 1871

Posted on May 26th, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

The Paris Commune fell on 28 May 1871 with, according to historical legend, the last barricade being removed in Rue Ramponeau in Belleville on the night of the 28th.

The Archive contains 100s of fascinating stories about the Paris Commune, but we thought we’d post this story that focuses on Victor Hugo’s role in this struggle.

After all, the Paris Commune was a muse for Hugo’s writing, as highlighted in his poem, ‘Sur une barricade’ (how interesting that a barricade is feminine…).

When the Paris Commune was crushed, Victor Hugo invited the leading Communards to come and stay at his home in Brussels.

As the Belgian government did not wish to cause a diplomatic incident with the French government, they decided to expel Hugo from Belgium.

But before leaving Belgium, he wrote a letter to a Belgian newspaper about the situation – and this letter is included in the newspaper report below.

historical newspaper story about the fall of the paris

Morning Post – Saturday 03 June 1871

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000174/18710603/023/0006

historical newspaper story about the fall of the paris

The Graphic – Saturday 10 January 1874

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000057/18740110/011/0008

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