Extremely Rare First Edition of Victor Hugo’s Gothic Masterpiece
Notre-Dame de Paris.
Paris: Charles Gosselin, 1831.
HUGO, Victor. Notre-Dame de Paris. Paris: Charles Gosselin, Libraire, 1831.
First edition, first issue, of Victor Hugo’s gothic masterpiece. Two octavo volumes (8 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches; 215 x 135 mm). , 404; , 536 pp. Complete with half-titles. Wood-engraved title vignettes after Tony Johannot.
Beautifully bound in newer French-style full green morocco. Boards intricately stamped in gilt with gilt armorial central devices. Spines stamped and lettered in gilt. Marbled endpapers. All edges uncut. Leaves very lightly toned as usual. Overall a very good copy.
“This first edition, in fine condition, is the rarest of all the works of Victor Hugo; it has had a resounding impact worldwide, and is one of the most difficult titles of the Romantic period to obtain” (Carteret).
Gosselin brought out the novel on 16 March 1831 in an edition of 1,100 copies, as was his general practice. This first printing was distributed into four separate issues of 275 copies each, the subsequent three issues being designated as “second edition,” “third edition,” and “fourth edition” respectively on the title-pages.
“Johannot’s title-page vignettes for the first edition of Notre-Dame de Paris show Quasimodo in the pillory receiving a drink from Esmeralda (Volume I) and Esmeralda escorted to the gallows (Volume II)” (Ray).
Ray, The Art of the French Illustrated Book, 180. Vicaire IV, cols. 256-257.