Author: Victor Hugo
Release Date: April 24, 2004 [EBook #12137]
Language: English and French
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK la legende des siecles ***
Produced by Stan Goodman, Renald Levesque and the
BY VICTOR HUGO
Edited by G. F. Bridge, M.A.
Encouraged by the favourable reception accorded to the ’Oxford Modern French Series,’ the Delegates of the Clarendon Press determined, some time since, to issue a ‘Higher Series’ of French works intended for Upper Forms of Public Schools and for University and Private Students, and have entrusted me with the task of selecting and editing the various volumes that will be issued in due course.
The titles of the works selected will at once make it clear that this series is a new departure, and that an attempt is made to provide annotated editions of books which have hitherto been obtainable only in the original French texts. That Madame de Stael, Madame de Girardin, Daniel Stern, Victor Hugo, Lamartine, Flaubert, Gautier are among the authors whose works have been selected will leave no doubt as to the literary excellence of the texts included in this series. Works of such quality, intended only for advanced scholars, could not be annotated in the way hitherto usual, since those for whom they have been prepared are familiar with many things and many events of which younger students have no knowledge. Geographical and mythological notes have therefore been generally omitted, as also historical events either too well known to require elucidation or easily found in the ordinary books of reference.
By such omissions a considerable amount of space has been saved which has allowed of the extension of the texts, and of their equipment with notes less elementary than usual, and at the same time brighter and more interesting, whilst great care has been taken to adapt them to the special character of each volume.
The Introductions are also a novel feature of the present series. Originally they were to be exclusively written in English, but as it was desired that they should be as characteristic as possible, and not merely extracted from reference books, but real studies of the various authors and their works, it was decided that the editors should write them in their own native language.
Whenever it has been possible each volume has been adorned with a portrait of the author at the time he wrote his book.