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    Manuscript Review by Bret Harte with
    Four Autograph Letters by Victor Hugo

    [Victor Hugo]. Bret Harte. Original Autograph Manuscript of Bret Harte's Review of Victor Hugo's "The Man Who Laughs." [bound with:] Four Autograph Letters Signed by Victor Hugo and an Autograph Stanza from His Poem "Sarah the Bather." Fifteen manuscript pages, four autograph letters, one poem stanza and six engraved portraits. Bound by "C. Walter" in full dark blue crushed morocco with decorative gilt paneled upper board, two raised spine bands with gilt titles and floral devices, gilt inner dentelles, top edge gilt. Binding lightly rubbed at extremities. Bookplate on front pastedown. Holograph pencil notes on front fly-leaf.

    The Harte manuscript, written in English, is comprised of fifteen single sided inlaid pages (approximately 5 x 7.5 inches), divided into three page-numbered sections 1-6, 1-5, and 1-4. The pages have several hand corrections and struck out passages, vertical creases and occasional minor soiling. Small hole in the last page 4, not affecting text.

    The autograph letters signed by Victor Hugo, written in French, are also inlaid. After the first letter of October 28, 1847 is its typed English translation. After the second undated letter is a small hand addressed envelope with its wax seal on verso. Letters with edge wear, fold wear, light creases and occasional minor soiling. The second letter has a one-and-a-half inch diagonal tear across the text of the lower left corner. The fourth letter has archival tape on its verso along fold separations and a small paper chip in its lower right corner, not affecting text. The stanza from "Sarah the Bather" is boldly signed by Victor Hugo and is followed by a "Note sur l'Autographi."

    Overall a wonderful collection of manuscript materials carefully preserved in a beautiful binding. From the collection of California bibliophile Melba Berry Bennett.

    More Information:

    Hugo letters:


    1. October 28, 1847. Three sides (approximately 6 x 7.5 inches). Letter in which Hugo says: "All of my life I have labored to deserve the hate of those who think and do ill, and the sympathy of those who desire good, beauty, justice, greatness, and truth."


    2. Undated. One side (approximately 4.5 x 7 inches). A friendly letter, regretting his inability to do a favor.


    3. Undated. One side (approximately 6 x 8 inches). Letter in which Hugo writes of his sufferings, and of his occupations.


    4. January 12. Two sides (approximately 5 x 8 inches). Written in exile to another author; it ends as follows: "You rally to my support, you say. I am touched by this, and it makes me proud, and I salute your noble spirit."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
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