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.
Marc Anthony Bazille Corbin of La Porte was Hugo’s doctor for several years, following the departure from the island of Dr Emile Allix. This is part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.
A defence of Victor Hugo and of free speech from the Daily News (founded as a radical newspaper in 1846 by Charles Dickens. Its editor in 1855 was William Weir, a socialist barrister whose increasing deafness led him to journalism.) 'The political exiles in Jersey, who signed the protest against the expulsion of the three gentlemen connected with the journal L’Homme, have in their turn been ordered to quit the island before the 2nd November. What crime have they committed? They have said in 1855 what Sir Charles Wood, the Duke of Newcastle, and Sir James Graham said in 1851, when they were cabinet ministers.'
Victor Hugo was not a Christian in the strict sense. He was a deist, profoundly religious in his way. This is part of The Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.
Throughout his life Hugo took an interest in crime and punishment, not least in Guernsey when he was writing Les Misérables. This is part of The Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.
From The Guernsey Press' 'Signpost to yesterday' series, April 9 1952. By 'Guernesiais.' The writer makes the contentious claim that Jersey Wonders are actually from Guernsey, and as for bean jar ... The old Guernsey recipe book illustrated is from the Library collection.
By Joseph-Laurent Couppey of Cherbourg, extract from 'Notice sur l'histoire des iles anglaises de Jersey, Guernesey et Aurigny, dans ses rapports avec l'histoire de la Normandie et spécialement du département de la Manche,' published in the Revue anglo-française, Poitiers, 1833, pp. 305-7. [From the French.]
The Eclectic Review, Vol 17 (1), 1845, pp. 540-555. 1848 is the year of revolution in Europe; in Guernsey the stirrings of the people, such as they were, occurred just a few years earlier. (The headings have been added for ease of reading.) The illustration is a print from the Library Collection dated c 1835, published by M Moss, and showing the interior of the Royal Court in St Peter Port. 'May this people ever beware of apeing the follies of their neighbours, and retain their own dignified simplicity! For it they are pre-eminent. Should they ever stoop to become imitators, they can never get beyond an humble mimicry of that which is useless and effeminate in the customs of England.'
On 5 March 1862 Hugo made arrangements with his cook, Marie Sixty, for a repas des enfants pauvres to be served every week, ‘the meal will be the same as ours, we shall serve them, they will say as they sit down Dieu soyez beni and on rising Dieu soyez remercié.’ Hugo followed the teaching of a French doctor that meat and a glass of wine were good for growing children—not a medical opinion that would be advocated today. The first such lunch took place on 10 March 1862 and thereafter they were held on a regular basis. There was a special meal at Christmas, when presents were distributed. These were often of a useful nature—items of clothing for example, but there were also toys. This is part of The Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.
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.
From the Gazette de Guernsey, January-September 1808, the spelling exactly as it was published. The 18th January was the occasion of a ball at the Assembly Rooms. The plate is dated October 1807 and is from the Library Collection.
A lucky ticket, From the Gazette de Guernesey, 6 April 1822. A parody of a piece of puff for the Guernsey Lottery, the poem may be the work of Dr James Tupper - 'Monsieur Toupar' - who is known to have written light-hearted poems in Guernsey French.