Les Miserables. A Novel. Translated from the original French, by Chas. E. Wilbour.
by HUGO, Victor (1802-1885).
New York:: Carleton, 1862-7., 1862. Five volumes. 8vo. [ii], 171, ; 164, ; 150, ; [ii], ii, -184; vi, -165,  pp. Advertisements are found at the rear of 4 of 5 volumes (as issued). Original maroon blind and gilt-stamped cloth by George W. Alexander, Binder, New York, with his ticket at the rear pastedown of vol. III: Marius; some neat repairs to spine ends. Modern sturdy green cloth pull-off case, red morocco gilt-stamped spine title. Very good copy, with new box. FIRST AMERICAN EDITION, with translation by Chas. E. Wilbour, who was employed by Carleton Publishing Company to translate the highly popular masterpiece by the French author Victor Hugo, clearly one of the most important and influential novels of the nineteenth century. The American edition was published in the same year that the original French edition was also issued, in 1862. The publisher, Carleton, issued the book in two forms: cloth or wrappers. This copy is from the original cloth bound format. / The books are not issued as numbered volumes. Instead the publishers show the entire work as five entirely separate novels, each complete and each is sold separately (thus complete sets are unusual). I: Fantine. II: Cosette. III: Marius. IV: Idyl of the Rue Plumet and Epic of the Rue Saint-Denis. V: Jean Valjean. / “Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.” Upton Sinclair described the novel as “one of the half-dozen greatest novels of the world,” and remarked that Hugo set forth the purpose of Les Miserables in the Preface: “So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night—are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless.” PROVENANCE: William S. Downs, Chicago, 1862 (his name written twice and also gilt-stamped on the upper cover and spine of both COSETTE & MARIUS vols. – Mothin [?] December 1st, 1862 – Jane E. Judd, Augusta, Maine [Jane Elizabeth Williams Judd] (1819-1899), her husband was Sylvester Judd (1813-1893) and they had two known girls (Jane Elizabeth & Francis). Jane’s parents were Hon. Reuel Williams (1783-1862) and Sarah Lowell Cony Williams (1784-1867). Hon. Reuel Williams was a member of the United States Senate from Maine – A.D. Barbor [?] 5.
(Inventory #: LLV2610)
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