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Was quasimodo real?

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Wiki User
2010-08-29 13:31:30

The character of Quasimodo is indeed based on a real person; a

hunchback who lived in Paris in the 1820's and was seen working in

the cathedral.

The discovery of the real Quasimodo, or, more likely, just

Victor Hugo's inspiration for the character, was made by the

British archivist Adrian Glew.

Glew was studying the sculptor Henry Sibson's autobiography and

suddenly came across a description of a hunchbacked man working in

the cathedral, chopping stone.

This hunchback can very well have been Victor Hugo's (the author

of the novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", in French "Notre Dame

de Paris") inspiration for the hunchbacked main character

Quasimodo. It is commonly known that Hugo very often came to the

cathedral to seek inspiration for his novel, which he started

writing in 1829.

Henry Sibson never spoke to the hunchback, and the real

Quasimodo's name remains unknown. It is also yet to be discovered

whether the hunchback also worked as a bell ringer, or if he was

just hired to help with the renovation.

Bonus info: Henry Sibson's autobiography mentions the name of

another sculptor, Trajan. The Parisian archives confirms Trajan as

a sculptor in the 1820's, which strengthens the reliability of

Sibson's autobiography.

Furthermore, Trajan might have been another one of Hugo's

inspirations: In an early version of Hugo's "Les Miserables", the

main character Jean Valjean is called Jean Trajean, maybe inspired

by this other sculptor from Sibson's autobiography.

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