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Victor Hugo Collection

Date range: 1819-1909

Medium: Archive

Collection of correspondence of the French novelist, dramatist, poet and politician Victor Marie Hugo (1802-1885), author of Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris.

There are 790 letters sent to Hugo and 165 original letters written by him, the majority of which were collected by Professor Jean Gaudon between 1962 and 1966. They cover virtually the whole of Hugo's literary career.

Correspondents include many prominent French writers of the period such as Théodore de Banville (1823-1891), and Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863). Other letters, including five written to Hugo's mistress Juliette Drouet (1806-1883) and six addressed to Madame Victor Hugo by Ulric Guttinguer (1785-1866), shed light on the author's personal life. Six letters exchanged with Louis Blanc (1811-1882) relate to Hugo's involvement in the Shakespeare Tercentenary celebrations of 1864.

Further letters reflect Hugo's political activities and focus on a visit made to Brussels during the Paris Commune of 1871 and the controversial offer of asylum to all communards.

Other manuscript items include four page-proofs of the first edition of Les Châtiments, with holograph corrections by Hugo, a manuscript of La Voix de Guernesey, dated 1867, and a famous watercolour drawing by Hugo, produced as a New Year card, dated January 1856.

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Further information:

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


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