'A slightly coloured sketch.'An oaken chest, half eaten by the worm, But richly carved by Anthony of Trent, With Scripture stories from the life of Christ; A chest that came from Venice, and had held The ducal robes of some old ancestor. That by the way—it may be true or false.[From] Rogers’ Italy.By Samuel Elliott Hoskins. Victor Hugo was not, it would seem, the first to transform the carved wooden chests of Guernsey into some other form of decorative furniture. De Beauvoir De Lisle got there before him!
By Thomas Cave, from the North Devon Journal, September 20 1866. 'It is always interesting to trace the home and associations of an eminent author and to realize a little of the inner life of the man whose works instruct or amuse us, especially when the impress of his mind is so visibly traceable in the material objects about him. It seems as if the fanciful taste which has arranged all these materials at its will in turn receives daily promptings from its very creation.' The engraving of The Oak Gallery is by one of Hugo's favoured artists, Fortune Méaulle, from Alfred Barbou's Victor Hugo and his times, New York: Harper, 1881, in the Library Collection.
The Priaulx Library has many photographs and cartes de visite by Arsène Garnier, including many of Victor Hugo and his family. This is part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project. The carte de visite above is a studio self-portrait, with Garnier's signature red outline and text.
The Vimeira estate. An article from the Morning Advertiser, January 18, 1951, by Basil C de Guerin. From his Scrapbook K, p. 10 (Staff.)
More exceptionally interesting 17th-century observations from Elie Brevint. Brevint (1587-1674) was minister of Sark from 1612. His father Cosmé, also a minister, was a Huguenot refugee from Angoulême who had accompanied Helier De Carteret from Jersey in his colonisation of Sark. Transcriptions and microfilm of Elie's 14 Notebooks, which were found in a loft in Sark in the 19th century, are held in the Priaulx Library. They are written in French. The picture above is a detail from Boethius, In philosophia consolationem, Strasbourg 1501, one of the rare books in the Library’s collection.
As always, we have received some exceptional material this year from very kind and generous donors. Above: the Guernsey Arms circular-headed window from Jane Mahy's report on the stained-glass windows of Grange House, one of this year's donations.
Observations and reminiscences from author Theodora Teeling, from The Star, May 4, 1880. Mrs. Bartle Teeling (née Theodora Louisa Lane Clarke) was born in Guernsey in 1851, the only child of the Rev. Thomas Clarke, Rector of Woodeaton, Oxford, and Louisa Lane, scientist and author of topographical and historical works on the Channel Islands, including contributions to MacCulloch's Guernsey Folk Lore. Theodora 'spent her childhood in Woodeaton, Oxford, where her father was rector. On his death his widow returned with their only child to Guernsey,' in 1865. They lived at L'Hyvreuse Lodge in St Peter Port. In Guernsey her mother Louisa 'became a centre of literary and scientific interest and mental activity as student and writer of natural history, etc., and author of several scientific manuals.'¹ In 1879 Theodora married Bartle Teeling (1848-1921), Captain in the Rifle Brigade, Secretary (1872) of the Catholic Union of Ireland, and Private Chamberlain to the Pope. She died in 1906. Theodora dates her reminiscences to 1867 ('12 years since'), when she would have been aged 16, and to 1878, only two years before she wrote this piece. She would have been 27 years old. The first scene, however, if she has not conflated two Christmases, must date to 1864 or before, as she includes Hugo’s son, François-Victor, in it: or it was indeed 1867, and she has misidentified the men she saw; or she has embellished the truth a little.
Part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.
Guernsey ghost: weird tale of a haunted house. From the Daily Express, March 31, 1903. Starring local eccentric and humanitarian, Victor Hugo's bookbinder, Harry Turner.
From Guernsey Life, June 1967, in the Library. 'Looking at Life,' by Michael Geraghty, concerning amongst other things an application for the transfer of a licence to run this well-known wine-bar and public house. The advertisment is from a 1934 tourist brochure in the Library collection.
La maison visionnée of The Toilers of the sea, and one of Hugo's favourite places to visit. Although only a few stones remain in situ, the lintel from the house is now in the Candie Museum.
Snippets of the poet's life in Guernsey. This is part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.