When Napoleon III came to power in 1852, Victor Hugo, who advocated a liberal and humanitarian democracy, went into exile, vowing not to go back to France as long as the new regime lasted. True to his word, he returned in 1870, though he did not approve of the excesses of the Commune.
In September 1861, Hugo, travelling from the island of Guernsey stopped at Vevey, where he wrote in a letter to a friend that he appreciated the “ cleanliness ”, the mild climate, and the Church of St-Martin, of which he drew a sketch. In the same church he also visited the graves of fellow expatriates, Ludlow and Broughton. When he died, the French people went into national mourning.
Among his most significant works are : “Toilers of the Sea ”, “ The Man who laughs”, “ Les Misérables ” and “ The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.