Victor Hugo's Christmas fete, 1865

2nd December 2016
Two accounts of Victor Hugo's Christmas party for the poor children, from 1865, one from The Star, edited by John Talbot, and the other by E L Samuel, from the Daily Post. The illustration is an engraving (with suspiciously well-dressed children!) from Alfred Barbou's biography of Hugo, here in English translation, Victor Hugo and his time, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1883; we also have the original French version in the Library.

Victor Hugo and Guernsey

8th November 2016
A new digital project based upon the book, Victor Hugo's Guernsey Neighbours, by Gregory Stevens Cox, MBE, MA (Oxon), Ph.D. The publication of the book was timed to coincide with the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Festival which took place in Guernsey in May, 2016. From this festival was born The Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society. The Festival celebrated the 150th anniversary of the publication of Victor Hugo's great novel, Les Travailleurs de la mer, or Toilers of the sea, which with its references to actual people and localities demonstrates a detailed knowledge of and interest in the island, and an understanding and empathy for Guernsey's culture and inhabitants, unparalleled until the publication of G B Edwards' Ebenezer Le Page in 1981. Hugo was not only influenced by Guernsey in writing this novel, however, but absorbed everything around him in his new home, and the legacy of Guernsey can be detected in every aspect of his life and work. The intention of this project, hosted by the Priaulx Library, is that it should collect and examine that island influence, and we welcome any contribution.

The Queen Charlotte Inn

28th October 2016
From Old Guernsey Exhibition and Fair Souvenir Guide and Programme, St Martin's Parish Hall, Guernsey: T B Banks & Co., 1908, p. 29. The painting of the Queen Charlotte Inn above, a detail of a larger view of Cow Lane, dates from c. 1800; it exists only as a photograph, as its whereabouts since WWII are at present unknown. The colour image is a detail of a painting by Captain C Montague Jones, possibly based up on it, painted 50 years or so later. The original of the Jones watercolour is in Candie Museum, Guernsey.

Victor Hugo's hairdressers

25th October 2016
In Guernsey in 1858 Victor Hugo became seriously ill with anthrax. It was apparently after recovering from this near-fatal illness that he was persuaded to grow a beard, as a protection for his throat; the first photograph of him sporting a beard was taken on 5 May 1861 on a visit to Brussels, during his trip to finish Les Misérables. For a while he allowed it to grow luxuriantly, but soon smartened it up and adopted the shorter beard now so familiar from photographs. Above is a portrait of one of Hugo's hairdressers, James Le Gallez, by kind permission of Ann Philippo. This is part of the Victor Hugo and Guernsey project.

The New Daphne, 1798

1st September 2016
Carteret Priaulx & Co set out the terms and conditions for agents for their privateer the New Daphné, in the Library's MS notebook 'List of privateers and prizes,' perhaps belonging originally to Ferdinand Brock Tupper.  The same source lists the Daphne as a lugger captained by A Queripel in 1790, Patrick Harry in 1795, and then by John King.  'Agreed between Messrs C Priaulx & Co. & Messrs Ninian Douglas & John Dadson, the former on the one part acting for the owners of the New Daphné letter of Marque Capt John King bound from this port, to the Earl of St Vincent’s fleet & Gibraltar & the latter, for themselves going out, as Supercargo’s on the above letter of Marque on the voyage stipulated Viz:'

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