The Victor Hugo Connection

This remarkable cover is not only franked by thee of the world’s rarest stamps, but was addressed by the hand of the famous playwright Victor Hugo to his publishers in Brussels.

A Letter from Victor Hugo to his Publishers Sent on Monday, November 27th 1865

Picture2Close investigation of the handwriting, the addressee on the cover and its journey revealed that this letter was sent by the famed literary and political figure Victor Hugo.

Victor Hugo is, without doubt, the most famous figure to have lived in the Channel Islands. He is the author of classic works such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables and lived in Hauteville House, Guernsey between 1855 and 1870.

This cover was sent to Hugo’s Publishers, Lacroix and Verboeckhoven, in Brussels on the 27th November 1865, and Hugo resided in Guernsey at the exact time the letter was sent.


The Addressee in Brussels

The address on the letter is that of the headquarters of Belgian publishing house Lacroix and Verboeckhoven, who were noted as publishers of, among other things, the works of Victor Hugo. In view of the fact that the cover is excised down the left-hand side, the visible text reads as shown in the center panel, the very likely wording is shown on the right-hand panel.


It should be noted that ‘Impasse Du Parc’ is today named ‘Rue de Colonies’, and is situated just off ‘Rue Royale’. The address is now home to the  Société des Transports intercommunaux de Bruxelles.


Confirmation of Victor Hugo’s Handwriting

In order to corroborate this evidence, a high-resolution image of the cover was sent to Sotheby’s offices in Paris for an opinion and the following confirmation was received from Mr. Adrien Legendre, Spécialiste en Livres & Manuscrits, Sotheby’s.

‘In my opinion, the hand-writing on the envelope is Victor Hugo’s’

—–Original Message—–
From: Legendre, Adrien
Sent: Mon 21/05/2012 17:08
To: abed
Subject: Hugo letterDear Mr. Najjar,
In my opinion, the hand-writing on the envelope is Victor Hugo’s.With my kind regards,

Adrien Legendre

Livres et Manuscrits
Sotheby’s France