Friday, May 6, 2016

Guernsey Post 2016
Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo

ISSUE DATE: 6 May 2016
STAMP SIZE:44.45 x 27.94 mm
STAMP DESIGN: Keith Robinson

In October 1855 Victor Hugo arrived in Guernsey, a political exile. He established a home for himself and family in St Peter Port at Hauteville House.  Almost every day he wrote. He completed les Misérables and composed many poems which were published as les Légendes des siècles and les Chansons des rues et des bois.

43p Stamp: Gilliatt the Fisherman
57p Stamp: Durande Wrecked
58p Stamp: The Great Storm
64p Stamp: A Great Storm
70p Stamp: Devilfish Octopus
78p Stamp: Deruchette sails away

In Guernsey Hugo had the perfect opportunity to study the sea. From his ‘look out’ he witnessed steamships and sailing-boats coming and going, the hustle-and-bustle of the port, storm clouds rolling in, the sea turning into a raging cauldron, ships in distress, shipwrecks.

In 1859 he spent a holiday in Sark. While swimming in a cave his son Charles tangled with an octopus. An idea for a novel was born. Hugo incubated the project until the summer of 1864 and then began to write in earnest. At first he called the novel The Abyss but then changed it to The Toilers of the Sea.  


Stamp images and description thanks to Guernsey Post 

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