Journey to the Center of the Earth (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Table of Contents
 
 
 
From the Pages of
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Otto Lidenbrock had no mischief in him, I readily admit that; but unless he changes in unlikely ways, he will die a confirmed original. (page 3)
 
My uncle went on working, his imagination went off rambling into the ideal world of combinations; he lived far away from earth, and genuinely beyond earthly needs. (page 26)
“All the theories of science demonstrate that such a feat is impossible!” (page 32)
 
Large though it is, that asylum is not big enough to contain all Professor Lidenbrock’s madness! (page 44)
 
We traveled around the enormous base of the volcano. The professor hardly took his eyes off it; he gesticulated, he seemed to challenge it and say: “Here’s the giant that I’ll tame!” (page 76)
The crater of Snaefells resembled an inverted cone, whose opening might have been half a league in diameter. Its depth appeared to be about two thousand feet. Imagine the aspect of such a container when it filled with thunder and flames. The bottom of the funnel was about 250 feet in circumference, so that its rather gentle slopes allowed its lower brim to be reached without difficulty. Involuntarily I compared the whole crater to an enormous hollow grenade launcher, and the comparison frightened me. (page 89)
My hair stood on end with terror. The feeling of emptiness overcame me. I felt the center of gravity shifting in me, and vertigo rising up to my brain like drunkenness. There is nothing more treacherous than this attraction toward the abyss. (page 94)
“To Hell with your calculations!” replied my uncle in a fit of rage. “To Hell with your hypotheses!” (page 131)
 
If the ‘average’ number of difficulties did not increase, we could not fail to reach our goal. And then, what glory! I had come around to reasoning in this way, quite like a Lidenbrock. Seriously. Was this due to the strange environment in which I was living? Perhaps. (page 133)
 
Impossible to get away. The reptiles approach; they wheel around our little raft at a speed that express trains could not match; they swim concentric circles around it. I’ve gripped my rifle. But what can a bullet do against the scales that cover the bodies of these animals? (page 168)
 
Ah! the descent of this electric sphere has magnetized all the iron on board; the instruments, the tools, the weapons, move about and clash with a sharp jangle; the nails in my shoes cling tenaciously to a plate of iron set into the wood. I cannot pull my foot away! (pages 180-181)
 
“As long as the heart beats, as long as the flesh pulsates, I can’t admit that any creature endowed with willpower needs to be overwhelmed by despair.” (page 215)
 
Ah! What a journey! What a wonderful journey! Having entered through one volcano, we had exited through another, and that other one was more than twelve hundred leagues away from Snaefells, and from that barren landscape of Iceland at the edge of the world! (pages 228-229)
 
From that day on, the professor was the happiest of scholars, and I was the happiest of men, for my pretty Virland girl, resigning her place as ward, took up position in the house on the Königstrasse in the double capacity of niece and wife. No need to add that her uncle was the illustrious Otto Lidenbrock, corresponding member of all the scientific, geographical, and mineralogical societies on the five continents of the earth. (page 232)

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Le Voyage au centre de la Terre
was first published in 1864. Frederick Amadeus
Malleson’s English translation (1877) has been thoroughly revised by
Ursula K. Heise for this edition of
Journey to the Center of the Earth.
 
Published in 2005 by Barnes & Noble Classics with new Biography, Chronology,
Introduction, A Note on the Translation, A Note on Measurements, Notes,
Comments & Questions, and For Further Reading.
 
Introduction, A Note on the Translation, A Note on Measurements, Notes, and For Further Reading
Copyright © 2005 by Ursula K. Heise.
 
Translation revisions, Note on Jules Verne, The World of Jules Verne and
Journey to the Center of the Earth,
Inspired
by Journey to the
Center of the Earth,
Comments & Questions, and Illustrations by Rachel Perkins
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Journey to the Center of the Earth
ISBN-10: 1-59308-252-5 ISBN-13: 978-1-59308-252-9
eISBN : 978-1-411-43244-4
LC Control Number 2005923983
 
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Printed in the United States of America
 
QM
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
Jules Verne
The creator of the
roman scientifique
, the popular literary genre known today as science fiction, Jules Gabriel Verne was born in the port town of Nantes, France, in 1828. His father, Pierre, was a prominent lawyer, and his mother, Sophie, was from a successful ship-building family. Despite his father’s wish that he pursue law, young Jules was fascinated by the sea and all things foreign and adventurous. Legend holds that at age eleven he ran away from school to work aboard a ship bound for the West Indies but was caught by his father shortly after leaving port.
Jules developed an abiding love of science and language from a young age. He studied geology, Latin, and Greek in secondary school, and frequently visited factories, where he observed the workings of industrial machines. These visits likely inspired his desire for scientific plausibility in his writing and perhaps informed his depictions of the submarine
Nautilus
and the other seemingly fantastical inventions he described.
After completing secondary school, Jules studied law in Paris, as his father had before him. However, during the two years he spent earning his degree, he developed more consuming interests. Through family connections, he entered Parisian literary circles and met many of the distinguished writers of the day. Inspired in particular by novelists Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas (father and son), Verne began writing his own works. His poetry, plays, and short fiction achieved moderate success, and in 1852 he became secretary of the Theatre lyrique. dow with two
In 1857 he married Honorine Morel, a young widow with two children. Seeking greater financial security, he took a position as a stockbroker with the Paris firm Eggly and Company. However, he reserved his mornings for writing. Baudelaire’s recently published French translation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the days Verne spent researching points of science in the library, inspired him to write a new sort of novel: the
roman scientifique.
His first such novel,
Five Weeks in a Balloon,
was an immediate success and earned him a publishing contract with the important editor Pierre-Jules Hetzel.
For the rest of his life, Verne published an average of two novels a year; the fifty-four volumes published during his lifetime, collectively known as
Voyages Extraordinaires,
include his best-known works,
Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
In 1872 Verne settled in Amiens with his family. During the next several years he traveled extensively on his yachts, visiting such locales as North Africa, Gibraltar, Scotland, and Ireland. In 1886 Verne’s mentally ill nephew shot him in the leg, and the author was lame thereafter. This incident, as well as the tumultuous political climate in Europe, marked a change in Verne’s perspective on science, exploration, and industry. Although not as popular as his early novels, Verne’s later works are in many ways as prescient. Touching on such subjects as the ill effects of the oil industry, the negative influence of missionaries in the South Seas, and the extinction of animal species, they speak to concerns that remain urgent in our own time.
Verne continued writing actively throughout his life, despite failing health, the loss of family members, and financial troubles. At his death in 1905 his desk drawers contained the manuscripts of several new novels. Jules Verne is buried in the Madeleine Cemetery in Amiens.
The World of Jules Verne and
Journey to the Center of the Earth
1828
Jules Gabriel Verne is born in the port city of Nantes, France, the first of the five children who will be born to Pierre and Sophie Allotte Verne. His father, an attorney, will encourage young Jules to pursue a career in law. His mother, from a ship-building family, instills in him a love of the sea.
1831
Victor Hugo’s
Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
is published.
1833
George Sand’s novel
Lélia
is published by the well-known publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel, who later will publish Verne’s novels.
1834
Jules begins attending secondary school. During his years at school, he excels in geology, Latin, and Greek. Also greatly interested in machinery, he makes frequent visits to nearby factories.
1839
It is said that the adventurous boy tries to run away to sea aboard a ship bound for the West Indies but is apprehended by his father before reaching open waters.
1843
Tahiti becomes a French protectorate.
1844
Alexandre Dumas’s
Le Comte de Monte Cristo (The Count of Monte Cristo)
is published.
1847
Jules begins studying law in Paris; he will receive his degree in two years. In Paris, family friends introduce him to some of France’s most distinguished writers, including Victor Hugo. Jules begins writing to supplement his meager allowance . Several of his plays are well received in theaters; his fiction appears in the Parisian magazine
Musée des familles.
1852
Louis-Napoleon becomes emperor of France as Napoleon III. Novelists Alexandre Dumas (père and fils) secure Verne a position as secretary of the Theatre lyrique.
1853
French administrator Georges- Eugène Haussmann begins alterations and municipal improvements in Paris, including the construction of the wide boulevards that distinguish the city to this day. The Crimean War begins, pitting Russia against France, England, and the Ottoman Turks.
1854
French poet Charles Baudelaire’s translation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe captivates Verne and initiates his lifelong admiration of the American author.
1857
Verne marries the widow Honorine de Viane Morel, whom he had met the previous year. Quitting his position at the Théâtre lyrique, he embarks on a career as a stockbroker at Eggly and Company, although he continues to devote his mornings to writing. Charles Baudelaire’s volume of poems
Les fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil)
and Gustave Flaubert’s novel
Madame Bovary
are published.
1859
Verne spends hours in the library gaining the scientific knowledge that will inform his fiction. He travels to England and Scotland. English naturalist Charles Darwin’s
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
is published. Work begins on the Suez Canal.
1861
Verne travels to Norway and Denmark. His son and only child, Michel, is born. He meets the legendary photographer Nadar.
1862
Verne’s manuscript
Cinq semaines en ballon (Five Weeks in a Balloon)
is accepted by Hetzel for publication. Until his death, Verne will publish an average of two books a year with Hetzel, forming the cumulative series known as
Voyages Extraordinaires (Extraordinary Voyages).
Hugo’s
Les Misérables
appears.
1863
Five Weeks in a Balloon
is published to great success.
1864
Voyage au centre de la Terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth)
is published. Verne writes an article on Poe for
Musée des familles.
1865
De la Terre à la Lune
(
From the Earth to the Moon
) appears. English writer Lewis Carroll’s
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
is published.
1866
Voyages et aventures du capitaine Hatteras (The Adventures of Captain Hatteras)
is published.
1867
Verne travels with his brother Paul to New York aboard the
1868
Great Eastern. L
e
s enfants du capitaine Grant
(
The Children of Captain Grant)
is published. He purchases his first yacht, the
Saint-Michel,
named for his only son.
1869
Vingt mille lieues sous les mers
(
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
) is published in two volumes (1869-1870). Its depiction of the submarine
Nautilus
(named after the first submarine, invented around 1800 by American engineer Robert Fulton) predates the construction of the first submarine by twenty-five years.
1870
The Franco-Prussian War breaks out; Verne serves in the Coast Guard.
1871
Une ville flottante
(
A Floating City
), partly inspired by a trip to Niagara Falls, New York, is published. Verne’s father dies. The Franco-Prussian War ends.
1872
The Verne family moves to Amiens, where Verne will reside the rest of his life.
1873
Another Verne masterpiece,
Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in Eighty Days),
is published. French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s confessional autobiography
Une Sai- son en Enfer
(
A Season in Hell
) is published.
1874
Le Docteur Ox
(
Dr. Ox’s Experiment and Other Stories
) appears , along with
L‘Île mystérieuse (The Mysterious Island). Around the World in Eighty Days
is adapted for the stage. Verne purchases a new yacht, the
Saint-Michel II.
1875
Le Chancellor (The Chancellor)
is published.
1876
Michel Strogoff
is published.
1877
Les Indes noires (The Child of the Cavern)
and
Hector Servadac
are published. Verne buys his last yacht, the
Saint- Michel III.
1878
A leisurely cruise aboard the
Saint-Michel III
takes Verne and his brother to North Africa, Portugal, and Gibraltar.
1879
Les Cinq cents millions de la Bégum (The Begum’s Fortune)
and
Les tribulations d’un Chinois en Chine (The Tribulations of a Chinaman in China)
are published.
1880
Verne cruises to Scotland and Ireland.
La Maison à vapeur (The Steam House)
is published.
1881
Verne cruises to Holland, Denmark, and Germany.
La Jangada (The Giant Raft)
is published.
1882
Verne moves his family to a larger house in Amiens with a circular tower; today it is a well-known Verne landmark and the headquarters of the Jules Verne Society in Amiens.
1883
Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel
Treasure Island
is published. War in Indochina breaks out.
1884
Verne voyages to Italy, where Pope Leo XIII personally blesses his work.
1885
Victor Hugo dies. English novelist Henry Rider Haggard publishes
King Solomon’s Mines.
1886
Verne’s deranged nephew, Gaston, shoots him in the leg, laming him for life. This personal disaster, and his growing cynicism about industrialization, marks a turn toward pessimism in Verne’s outlook and writing. His longtime publisher , Hetzel, dies. Verne sells the
Saint-Michel III
because of financial concerns. Robert Louis Stevenson publishes Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
1887
Verne’s mother dies.
1888
Verne is elected to the municipal council of Amiens, where he will serve for fifteen years.
1889
Sans dessus dessous (Topsy-Turvy)
appears, which contains notably negative views on the potential of technology. His later novels will take on various forms of social injustice, from the plight of orphans to the corrupting power of missionaries in foreign lands.
1895
English novelist H. G. Wells’s
The Time Machine
is published .
1897
Le Sphinx des glaces (The Ice Sphinx),
written as a sequel to Poe’s 1838 novel
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym,
is published. Flagging health plagues Verne. His brother Paul dies. English writer Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous and Edmond Rostand’s play
Cyrano de Bergerac
are published .
1899
Verne’s
Le testament d’un excentrique (The Will of an Eccentric )
deals with the oil industry’s ravages of the environment.
1905
Leaving a drawer filled with manuscripts, and with his family gathered at his bedside, Jules Verne dies of complications
from diabetes. He is buried in Madeleine Cemetery in Amiens. His posthumously published novels, altered considerably by his son, Michel, remain a source of scholarly debate and interest.
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