Victor Hugo and Guernsey: Le Gouffre

25th September 2017
One of Victor Hugo's favourite places to visit. Although with its rocky landscape combined with wild flowers and grassy swards, it is one of the places in Guernsey that would probably most appeal to the Romantic sensibility, one can't help speculating that the name of the place, 'Le Gouffre,' went some way towards Hugo's partiality: it was one of his favourite words, found many times in his poetry and prose. Part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project. The illustration, by François Chifflart, is 'Le port au quatrième étage,' a nickname coined by Hugo and not otherwise used, from the 1869 edition of Les Travailleurs de la mer. The tiny figures of the fishermen and their families hauling up the boat can just be made out.

From our family albums

8th September 2017
Proper names from the captions to the photographs in From our family albums (1998), edited by Julie Hargetion of the Société Guernesiaise. Surnames in capitals. This book and its two companion volumes may be viewed by visitors to the Library, but permission for reproduction of the photographs can only be obtained by going through the books' compilers, the Family History Section of the Société Guernesiaise, from whom copies of the books may also be purchased.

Little Wit, 1374

17th July 2017
The Guernsey garrison of men-at-arms and archers in 1374, a time of fear. From a transcript in the Library colleciton of an original document [Royal Court Library, Records and Documents, III 248.]. In August 1373, Bertrand de Guesclin attacked the islands, occupying part of Gorey Castle in Jersey and causing destruction in Guernsey and Sark; the islands had only recently recovered after a previous French invasion led by Owen of Wales.

Victor Hugo and Guernsey: Hugo's workmen

5th July 2017
An interview with, and the obituary of, 'the oldest man in the island,' Thomas Mauger Gore, carpenter and builder, who helped Victor Hugo realise his vision at Hauteville House and especially at Hauteville II, Juliette Drouet's house in Guernsey. Obituary from The Star of Tuesday March 6, 1928, interview in the same newspaper,  July? 1927. Part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.

Victor Hugo and Guernsey: Paul Stapfer

16th June 2017
The Parisian Paul Stapfer was born in 1840 and graduated in Classics in 1860. In 1866 he joined the staff at Elizabeth College, Guernsey, to teach French. He calculated that this employment would give him time to work on his doctorate in English literature, and that he could thus both improve his English and observe the doings of Victor Hugo. He was the author of a significant book of memoirs of Victor Hugo, Victor Hugo à Guernesey: souvenirs personnels. This is part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.

Victor Hugo and Guernsey: Hennett de Kesler

16th June 2017
When the French government declared an amnesty in August 1859, the majority of political exiles returned to France. Victor Hugo announced that he would return to his homeland only when liberty returned there; he would not accept the amnesty. His friend Kesler pursued the same policy and remained in Guernsey until his death in 1870. This is part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.

Expulsion of aliens

13th June 2017
Minutes of evidence taken before the Commissioners for inquiring in to the state of the criminal law in the Channel Islands. Second Report of the Commissioners &c, London: Clowes, 1848, p. 142. The statements were made by John de Havilland Utermarck, Contrôle de la Reine, on Spetember 28, 1846.

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