Paris: Charles Gosselin Libraire, 1831. 1st Edition. First edition, first printing, fourth issue of Hugo's gothic masterpiece. It is generally accepted that the publisher printed different editions on the title page of all copies to seem as though the book were in four editions, despite all text being identical. Two volumes, octavo (pages 215 x 131 mm), all edges untrimmed. Collating: , 404; , 536 pages: complete, with front and rear wrappers and half titles bound into both. Modern French binding with spines stamped and lettered in gilt. Some light scattered foxing throughout, but an excellent copy overall.
Set in Paris during the reign of Louis XI, Hugo's gothic romance was one of the earliest novels to depict life across the whole spectrum, from the rodents of the sewer to the King and his court. Using themes of French architecture and the advent of the printing press to explore freedom of expression, temporality, sanctuary, and the connections among higher and lower strata peoples, Hugo created a novel that heavily influenced later writers including Dickens and Flaubert. Considered the rarest and most elusive of all works of Victor Hugo, the first edition of Notre-Dame was produced as a set of 1,100 copies divided into four issues of 275 each, with the issue being designated on the title page. Near Fine (Item #2957)