Argh! I can't visit this blog without having to go and buy something you've recommended. 'The Diaryt of Jules Renard' must be mine!For some reason those anecdotes reminded me of the story of Hillaire Belloc staying with Evelyn Waugh and family. Belloc kept yanking on the rope for the servant-summoning bell in his bedroom, not realising it had been disconnected years before, and after half an hour was reduced to angry tears, bellowing at Waugh, who came in to see what was the matter, "Zey all ignore the Frenchman! Zey all hate the Frenchman!"
How did I not know about those Hugo paintings? You just made my day!!
Thanks for the comments.I just updated the post with this info: Sante's essay originally appeared in the image-heavy Shadows of a Hand: The Drawings of Victor Hugo, edited by Florian Rodari and Ann Philbin.
I can't say enough good things about Mount Analogue. Such a great work!