Victor Hugo, Devoted Grandfather

Windows into History

Victor Hugo with his beloved grandchildren. Victor Hugo with his beloved grandchildren.

Snippets 90. John Swinton was a popular journalist, who was chief editor of the New York Times during the 1860s. In 1883 he launched John Swinton’s Paper, an influential publication campaigning for the rights of workers in America. His views may have been influenced in some measure by a visit to Britain three years earlier, during which he witnessed the worst examples of poverty he had ever seen on the streets of London, Birmingham and Edinburgh. Perhaps at this point he saw a future for the working classes of America that he was keen to avoid. His journey was chronicled in the very short book John Swinton’s Travels (1880), in which he also related details of time spent in France. A highlight of the trip was a visit to the house of Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of…

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