HUGO, Victor


HUGO, Victor. Actes et paroles 1870-1871-1872. Édition du RAPPEL.


Paris, Michel Lévy frères, 1872.


£ 2,500


First edition. Presentation copy in original publisher’s wrappers, half title inscribed and signed by Hugo, “À Mademoiselle Céline Duboucher”. 8vo. 220 p. In French. Creasing to wrappers’ corners and slight loss to one, creasing of first six leaves’ corners, deckle edges. Good, clean copy.


Collection of Victor Hugo’s political speeches from the years 1870 to 1872, marking his return to France from his 19 year exile after Napoleon III’s 1851 Coup d’état. Despite being known first and foremost as a literary figure, Hugo led a very active political life as a prominent advocate for social reform and the abolishment of the death penalty. He was received in Paris as a national hero upon his return on the 4th September 1870 – the starting point for the speeches recorded in this book – and immediately thrown into the turmoil of the Siege of Paris by the Prussian Army. It recounts Hugo’s multiple public addresses to the French populace as well as the Prussian army, a powerful record of his attitude toward the Franco-Prussian War. This volume continues with Hugo’s election and address to the Assemblée Nationale on the 8th of February 1871, the tragic death of his son and his subsequent visit to Brussels. Hugo’s speeches were gathered into a larger collection of three volumes: Avant l’exil, 1841-1851; Pendant l’exil, 1852-1870; and Depuis l’exil, 1870-1876.