The whirlwind pace of the new Les MisÃ©rables movie inspired me to pull out my books to re-read the novel. I noticed my English copies are starting to fall apart, and I became curious what year they were printed. I started looking around the internet and came across someone else’s post on the same topic. In fact if you look at the link, his book looks very similar to mine.
And I am excited that this post finally led me to some information that will help me put a date on my own copy. A link about the company A L Burt says that the company had different addresses over the course of their operation, from 1883-1937. The address on my book below was apparently from 1900-1912. So there you go, it is at least 100 years old.
I would like to purchase a new, unabridged version in a readable translation – any suggestions on the best edition?
To give an idea of other things going on in my great grandmother’s household around the time theses books were published, I took a photo of a few of my postcards:
The top left one was sent on Dec. 22, 1908 at 10:30 pm to my great great grandmother by her grown child. The top right was received by my great grandmother, about a year before she got married, sent Dec. 20, 1908 at 3 pm from Toronto. The bottom one I find particularly special. It was sent to my 3-year-old grandfather on Dec. 20, 1923. I have a 3-year-old son, so it is fun picturing what my grandpa was like at that age, receiving this card. The front of it reads, “To A Nice Little Boy Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! May old Santa with his presents Fill your heart with joy.”
These Les MisÃ©rables books belonged to grandpa’s sister at some point in her life, but I am not sure where she got them from and at what point. Her name is written in the front in pencil.
My French set came from an antique bookstore in Toronto, when my husband (then beau) picked them up for me. I started reading this one last night, but noticed it too is falling apart. And while I was surprised that I can understand almost every word of it, I may get tired of reading it in French at some point.
I am not sure of the date of these volumes either, but a brief glance at a website about this publisher in French shows that they published from the address in my book from 1911-1925, so it would have been from around the same period.