A Word About Victor Hugo Translations
In our own investigation for example, we found that the Isabel Hapgood translation of Toilers of the Sea is the best (and improved with edits by Patricia LeChevalier), but her translation of Man Who Laughs is markedly inferior to the Joseph Blamire. Joseph Blamire translations are very hard to find.
In his recent biography of Victor Hugo, Graham Robb comments about one well-known translation, calling it " a Swiss cheese of unavowed omissions and bears out Hugo's comments on translations as a form of censorship." He doesn't think anything better of a recent paperback edition of Toilers of the Sea - based on the original 1866 translation of William Moy Thomas - calling it "a miserable travesty". Other editions he describes as "pruned and disinfected". Ayn Rand made similar comments in her fiction writing seminars.
Robb's recommendations are on p. 619 of his book. Apart from those ..caveat emptor.
- Fred Weiss