July 5, 1845. The day Victor Hugo is caught in bed with his mistress Léonie Biard

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The dawn of July 5, 1845 opens an eye to a languid Paris. Léonie Biard, 25, and Victor Hugo, 43, sleep tenderly entwined in the bachelor apartment that the brand new peer of France has just rented passage Saint-Roch. Poor poet, he needs to console himself: his wife, Adèle, has long refused him, and his mistress, Juliette Drouet, has become for him as commonplace as a second wife. The night was exhausting, even for a Victor in his forties.

In short, Victor and Léonie sleep peacefully when they are awakened with a burst of blows against …

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