|Selected letters from Juliette Drouet to her lover, Victor Hugo, offering insights into nineteenth-century French culture as well as an insider’s look at the character, behavior, working habits, and day-to-day life of France’s most monumental man of letters.
My Beloved Toto, a collection of letters written by Juliette Drouet to her lover, Victor Hugo, tells the story of a life and of the great love affair that shaped it. From 1833 until her death half a century later, Drouet wrote to Hugo twice daily on average, resulting in thousands of letters. The 186 translated heremost appearing in English for the first timeoffer insights into nineteenth-century French culture as well as an insider’s look at the character, behavior, working habits, and day-to-day life of France’s most monumental man of letters.
“This polished, meticulously annotated translation … brings to life one of France’s most famous love affairs. It also dispels many myths about the relationship between ‘Juju’ and the ‘beloved little Toto’ she adored and followed into exile … Anglophones owe a debt of gratitude to Larson for this collection…” — CHOICE
“Juliette Drouet’s extraordinary story has been told many timesbut never as vividly as she tells it herself in her letters. Here, at last, is a lucid, accurate modern English translation of a representative selection. The intelligence, wit, devotion, passions, and frustrations visible in them should do much to dispel the myths fostered by Drouet’s critics and biographers.” E. H. and A. M. Blackmore, editors and translators of Selected Poems of Victor Hugo: A Bilingual Edition and The Essential Victor Hugo
“Written from the body and soul, Juliette Drouet’s love letters to Victor Hugo, spanning some fifty years but written in and for the moment, are engaging bits of écriture féminine. Filled with wordplay and allusion to contemporary events both personal and public, these texts present formidable translation problems expertly contextualized by the translator in her introduction, notes, and glossary.” Kristine J. Anderson, Purdue University
Victoria Tietze Larson is Professor of Classics and General Humanities at Montclair State University and the translator of My Double Life: The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt, also published by SUNY Press.