VHTTM_FrontCoverVictor Hugo on Things That Matter 

Marva gives English speakers the social, historical, cultural, and biographical context that is essential for enjoying the writing and art of this genius of nineteenth-century France.

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  • Juliette Drouet, the First to Read Les Misérables

    What would it have been like to be the first to read Les Misérables in manuscript, straight from Victor Hugo’s hands as he wrote it? I experienced that excitement vicariously with my talk for the Paris colloquium, “Juliette Drouet, épistolière.” (Click here for the program.)

    The only American invited to join nearly twenty French scholars who specialize on the work of Victor Hugo and his lifelong lover and friend, Juliette Drouet, I spoke about Juliette’s joy in reading and copying Hugo’s epic. Juliette took the lead in copying Victor’s writings, and she wrote him multiple letters a day, over 22,000 in all. Since Victor had asked her to write about her activities, her health and her thoughts—and since Juliette ...

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