Poetry & Novels

Lamentations de Damaris: a poem about old Fountain Street

The remodelling of Fountain Street was undertaken by the States at their own expense. They formed a Committee to oversee the works, which took place over several years in the 1820s. George Métivier wrote a poem in Guernsey French about the demolition of the street, which was so narrow in places that residents were said to be able to shake hands from the third storeys of their houses, from the point of view of one of its oldest denizens.

Victor Hugo and Guernsey: M Victor Hugo and George Metivier

6th June 2017
In an interesting article in this week’s Academy, says the Pall Mall Gazette of the 21st inst. (1876), M Jules Andrieu discloses certain curious discoveries made by him as to Victor Hugo’s method of procedure in composing his last romance. From this it would appear that even a great genius, and one also who has of late affected encyclopaedic learning, may be reduced to the necessity of ‘cramming’ for the purposes of a particular work;  and that, like others who cram, he is not over-fastidious either as to the field of his investigations or to the accuracy of their results. [By Dinah Bott]

Les Miserables de Guernesey: Servants

21st April 2017
In the early 1860s Hugo completed and revised his novel Les Misérables, a work that he had started in the 1840s. As he wrote about Cosette, Eponine, Fantine, Gavroche, Javert… he could not help but observe the poor, the suffering, and the wretched all around him in Guernsey. He had an active compassion and tried to help. Part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.

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