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Título: Les Miserables (in 5 Volumes): I. Fantine; ...
Editorial: New York: Carleton,
Año de publicación: 1862
Edición: First Edition in English.
The first edition in English of Hugo's magisterial work, published in five volumes. The biography by his wife Adele Hugo, was issued in 1863 as a companion volume, because -- as the publisher's note observes -- "the Great Romance is a part of the life of Victor Hugo and cannot be fully understood without it." All six volumes are translated by Charles Edwin Wilbour. Althuogh uniform in design, the volumes are bound in different colors -- ninetheenth centuy publishers were generally haphazard about such matters. Volumes I and II are in terracotta cloth, Volume III is in green cloth, Volumes IV and V are in dark brown cloth. The life of Hugo is in light brown cloth. The condition of volumes I to IV is generally very good or better, with some wear especially to the corners. Volume V is in lesser condition, with surface wear to the cloth, and loss to the front gutter. The faults of Volume V are mitigated by its extraordinary provenance: the book bears an inscription on the front free endpaper from Union calvalry commander Colonel George Eliphaz Spencer (1836-1893) to his wife, Bella Z. Spencer (1840-1867), who appended her ownership signature to the first blank. Mrs. Spencer was the author of TRIED AND TRUE, OR, LOVE AND LOYALTY, A STORY OF THE GREAT REBELLION (1866), and other works based on her experiences as a soldier's wife. Her first book was inspired by meeting Southern refugees while accompanying her husband on campaigns in Tennessee and Alabama, at Paducah and the battle of Shiloh. As she wrote, "Sickness, want, even starvation came upon [the Refugees], when the hand of humanity was withheld. They were compelled to leave their homes, and wander friendless through the land." One imagines that Jean Valjean's struggles to maintain his humanity in a brutal and violent world must have held a special resonance for those who, like the Spencers, read Hugo amid the devastation of the Civil War. In all, a very appealing set of this literary and cultural landmark. N° de ref. de la librería 17673
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