THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

Notre-Dame de Paris. Par Victor Hugo. Troisième edition … Tome premier [– deuxième].

Paris, Charles Gosselin, 1831.

Two vols, 8vo, pp. I: [8], 404; II: [4], 536; pp. 439 and 491 mispaginated ‘339’ and ‘391’, both vols with half-titles; woodcut vignettes to title-pages by Tony Johannot; vol. I half-title lightly foxed, a very light dampstain to upper corners of vol. I (not touching text); otherwise a handsome set in twentieth-century gilt-ruled half morocco with blue marbled sides, raised bands, spine lettered directly in gilt, marbled endpapers, ribbon place-markers; spines sunned; modern pencil notes to endpapers.

£7500

Approximately:
US $9509€8777

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Notre-Dame de Paris. Par Victor Hugo. Troisième edition … Tome premier [– deuxième].

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First edition, third issue, of Victor Hugo’s great historical novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, one of 275 copies printed.

Notre-Dame de Paris, Hugo’s first full-length novel, was critical in cementing his reputation as one of France’s most celebrated writers. The first edition was published on 16 March 1831 in an edition of 1100 copies all from the same sheets, divided into four issues of 275 copies each and arbitrarily classified by the publisher ‘[first]’, 'second', 'third', and 'fourth' editions on their respective title-pages in an attempt to convince the public of the novel’s runaway success.

Hugo had agreed to write Notre-Dame de Paris in 1828, but little progress had been made by the summer of 1830, by which time Gosselin had already granted the author two extensions. Faced with the termination of his contract or a fine of 1000 francs per week should he fail to complete the work by February 1831, Hugo worked on the novel ceaselessly, allegedly locking away all his clothes save for a large shawl in an attempt to resist the allure of the outside world. He finished the work on 15 January 1831, mere weeks before the deadline set by Gosselin.

Carteret I, 402 (‘Cette edition originale, en bel état, est la plus rare de toutes les oeuvres de l’auteur […] c’est une des plus difficiles à se procurer de la période romantique’); Vicaire IV, cols 256-7.

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