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Real-Life Quasimodo Uncovered In Tate Archives

Posted by admin on Sep 1, 2010

With his hunched back and deformed face, Quasimodo, the tragic hero of Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunch Back of Notre Dame, has always been considered a mythical creation drawn from the depths of the author’s imagination.

But clues suggesting that Quasimodo is based on a historical figure have been uncovered in the memoirs of Henry Sibson, a 19th-century British sculptor who was employed at the cathedral at around the time the book was written and who describes a hunched back stonemason also working there.

He writes: “Mon Le Bossu (the Hunchback) a nickname given to him and I scarcely ever heard any other … the Chief of the gang for there were a number of us, M. Le Bossu was pleased to tell Mon Trajan that he must be sure to take the little Englishman.”

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