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Still Waters

Real-life Quasimodo uncovered in Tate archive

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Still Waters
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 a new discovery appears to reveal the real-life inspiration behind the character from Hugo's seminal novel, which tells the story of the deaf bell-ringer of Notre Dame and his unrequited love for the gipsy girl Esmeralda.

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.

The documents were acquired by the Tate Archive in 1999 after they were discovered in the attic of a house in Penzance, Cornwall, as the owner prepared to move out.

However, the references to a "hunchback sculptor" working at Notre Dame have only just been discovered, as the memoirs are catalogued ahead of the archive's 40th anniversary this year.

The seven-volume memoirs document Sibson's time in Paris during the 1820s, when he was employed by contractors to work on repairs to Notre Dame Cathedral.

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Eldorado

Hmmm........his face rings a bell.

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Still Waters

Hmmm........his face rings a bell.

Good one! :lol:

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LadyBlue

It is really amazing to find out that Hugo made his story (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)out of an inspiration from a real person. It is one of the best in literature. :D

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Still Waters

It is really amazing to find out that Hugo made his story (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)out of an inspiration from a real person. It is one of the best in literature. :D

I remember watching an old black and white film on TV of The Hunch Back of Notre Dame. I wasn't very old at the time and it was the first time I'd seen him. Well he frightened the life out of me, so much so I was scared to go to bed afterwards. It's just as well I didn't know at the time that he was based on a real person!

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Pezmo

Thank God he wasn't around in the dark ages, He probably would of been killed by the peasant folk.

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