HUGO, Victor (1802-1885)

“Mini” autograph letter signed « V. » to Émile Allix
H[auteville] H[house], 25th July [1862], 2 p. small in-24° on blue paper

« I’m going to see my Charles in a few days. It will be a deep joy, and I deserve it a little after this heavy work »

EUR 4.500,-
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HUGO, Victor (1802-1885)

“Mini” autograph letter signed « V. » to Émile Allix
H[auteville] H[house], 25th July [1862], 2 p. small in-24° (4,3 x 6,8 cm), on blue laid paper
With autograph envelope (tear, see scan)
Slight trace of unimportant oblique fold on the second page
[Dry stamp:] S. Barset / June / 25 / High Street / Guernsey
[Post mark:] 28 Jul[y] [18]62 / Ang[leterre] – Calais

An unpublished “thumbnail” letter to his personal doctor, announcing his departure for Belgium after the exhausting work of writing Les Misérables

« Merci, cher Monsieur Émile. Vous avez le dévouement le plus charmant du monde et vous entrez en fonctions avec tout l’esprit possible et une grâce parfaite. Votre lettre est une page tout étincelante. – Voici, imprimées, deux lettres qui vous intéresseront, si vous connaissez quelque journal qui trouve bon de les reproduire, faites. Je vais voir mon Charles dans quelques jours. Ce sera une joie profonde, et je la mérite un peu après ce lourd labeur. Quel dommage que vous ne soyez pas de cette clef des champs là ! – Est-ce que vous voudrez jeter à la poste ces trois billets. Je fais mon sac de nuit, et je vous serre les deux mains

A letter to Paul Meurice, sent the day before, gives us a detailed account of the journey that Victor Hugo was about to undertake: “We will leave on Monday the 28th (with M. Lacroix) [the publisher of Les Misérables], we will spend Tuesday in London. On Wednesday 29th we will be in Brussels (via Ostend), Thursday 30th in Liège (since you like Liège). So try to get there, you and Charles, on July 31st,” and then added at the end of the letter, apparently anticipating his doctor’s recommendations:
“To moderate the rain of letters during my absence, will you have something published in Le Siècle or La Presse like this: ‘On the advice of the doctors who advised him to change his air after the great work of Les Misérables, M. Victor Hugo has left Guernsey for a journey of a few weeks’

Émile Allix (1836-1911) was a French medical doctor, specializing in pediatrics. It was during a holiday in Jersey that the young medical student (then 19 years old) met the writer through his brother Jules and his sister Augustine, who were close to the Hugo circle. His republican convictions, his opposition to the regime of Napoleon III, his kindness and his very gentle nature were all arguments that allowed the doctor to seal the beginning of an unfailing friendship with the writer. In 1868, Allix assisted Adèle Hugo, who was very ill, in her last moments. A close friend of Victor Hugo and his family, he was a constant believer, like any other son. With his colleagues Alfred Vulpian and Germain Sée, he signed the last certificates that preceded the declaration of Victor Hugo’s death on 22 May 1885.

When Victor Hugo signed with only the initial of his first name, it meant above all a very close relationship with his correspondent (usually reserved for his closest circle). The regret expressed here by the writer at not being able to meet his doctor friend for his Belgian journey testifies all the more to the ties that united them.

Private collection