So, um, in case any of you hadn't noticed, I have a minor obsession with what the places Hugo describes looked like at the time he was writing about--possibly the old bastard is rubbing off on me, because he seems to have had a similar obsession with describing in nit-picky detail the exact situation of every setting he used in Paris. I mean, there's a whole damn section of my website devoted to collecting maps of Paris from the 1820s and 30s. And recently, I have found shinies
An exceedingly legible map of the Right Bank around the Hôtel de Ville
. Why is this shiny? Because you can see all sorts of things! The rue de la Chanvrerie (top left, abbreviated Chanver). The spot where Javert graduated from Tosca's School of Diving. The Cloister of Saint-Merry. The rue de la Verrerie. The rue des Billets intersecting the rue de la Verrerie and going up to almost touch the rue de l'Homme-Armé. La Force. The church of St-Paul-St-Louis. And it's all legible! *glee*
Um, let me explain. The only other pre-Haussman maps of Paris I have are either too old to be useful, or mostly illegible. One of them is very big and pretty but wasn't scanned at good enough resolution to read the street names, and the other one often has the text obscured by its ugly red coloring (not to mention is in a giant pdf file). So this is exciting for me, dammit. If only I could find comparable ones--or scans from the same map--for the Latin Quarter or the faubourg Saint-Marcel.
Also, a map of Montfermeil
from somewhere between 1825 and 1835.
I would love to find one of Montreuil-sur-Mer--of the town itself, that is, not just its placement in the surrounding region--but I've been too lazy. I suspect that the actual layout hasn't changed much in the past two hundred years, but a bunch of streets have been renamed.
[Dieu] entend ta voix, ô fille des hommes! aussi bien que celle des constellations; car rien n'est petit pour celui devant lequel rien n'est grand.
- George Sand, Les sept cordes de la lyre