Hard Cover. Bruxelles: A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Cie, 1862. First Edition. Fine.
First edition, preceding the French edition. Ten volumes finely bound in contemporary crushed dark green morocco with red marbled boards, with five raised bands to the spines, decorated and lettered in gilt, red marbled endpapers. An excellent set with some mild wear and rubbing to the edges, a few scattered spots, else near fine. Overall, a bright and attractive set of the true first edition. Les Misérables is a historical novel that was an instant success and is now widely considered one of the best novels of the 19th century. Jean Valjean, a convict and victim was imprisoned for nearly two decades after stealing a loaf of bread for his starving family. It follows him from the time of his release from prison in 1815 through the June Rebellion (French Revolution) of 1832. Valjean's struggle for redemption allows the reader to examine the French lower classes' extreme poverty and malcontent that were central to the July Revolution of 1830. Notably, this first Brussels edition is the first publication of Les Misérables in book form, as it precedes the first Paris edition published by Pagnerre by a few days. Interestingly, this finely bound copy retains all of the publisher's ten original title pages, half-titles, and fly-titles. In addition to being translated into numerous languages, Les Misérables was adapted into a popular musical of the same name by Claude-Michel Schönberg in 1980. Item #VH003