By Raymond Benson
The youngest daughter of the great French author, Victor Hugo, was a victim of schizophrenia. Although she was devastatingly beautiful, history tells us that Adèle Hugo was seriously disturbed.
Around the time of America’s Civil War, Adèle became fixated on a British soldier, one Lieutenant Pinson. She followed him across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia, where he was stationed, for she was convinced that he loved her and would marry her. In fact, the couple had experienced a brief relationship in England (while Victor Hugo was living in Guernsey, in exile from France), but Pinson ultimately rejected Adèle and wanted no more to do with her. Even though he was obviously a rakish cad, the girl became obsessed with the man and went to great lengths to pursue him.
These days we would call it stalking.
François Truffaut’s The Story of Adèle H.