Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - New
As the story begins in 1866, a mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition in New York City to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax is a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story; as he happens to be in New York at the time and is a recognized expert in his field, he is issued a last-minute invitation to join the expedition, and he accepts. Canadian master harpoonist Ned Land and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil are also brought on board.
The expedition sets sail from Long Island aboard a naval ship, the Abraham Lincoln, which travels down around the tip of South America and into the Pacific Ocean. After much fruitless searching, the monster is found, and the ship charges into battle. During the fight, the ship's steering is damaged, and the three protagonists are thrown overboard. They find themselves stranded on the "hide" of the creature, only to discover to their surprise that it is a large metal construct. They are quickly captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo (a name meaning "no man" or "no-body" in Latin).
The rest of the story follows the adventures of the protagonists aboard the submarine, the Nautilus, which was built in secrecy and now roams the seas free of any land-based government. (As further discussed below, the story was written decades before submarines of such size and utility became a reality.) Captain Nemo's motivation is implied to be both a scientific thirst for knowledge and a desire for revenge on (and self-imposed exile from) civilization. Captain Nemo explains that the submarine is electrically powered, and equipped to carry out cutting-edge marine biology research; he also tells his new passengers that while he appreciates having an expert such as Aronnax with whom to converse, they can never leave because he is afraid they will betray his existence to the world. Aronnax is enthralled by the vistas he is seeing, but Land constantly plots to escape.
Their travels take them to numerous points in the world's oceans, some of which were known to Jules Verne from real travelers' descriptions and guesses, while others are completely fictional. Thus, the travelers witness the real corals of the Red Sea, the wrecks of the battle of Vigo Bay, the Antarctic ice shelves, and the fictional submerged Atlantis. The travelers also don diving suits to go on undersea expeditions away from the ship, where they hunt sharks and other marine life with specially designed guns and have a funeral for a crew member who died when an accident occurred inside the Nautilus. When the Nautilus returns to the Atlantic Ocean, "poulps" (usually translated as giant squids, although the French "poulpe" means "octopus") attacks the vessel and devours a crew member. Shortly afterward, they are tracked and attacked by a mysterious ship. Nemo ignores Arronax's pleas for amnesty for the boat and attacks. Nemo attacks the ship under the waterline, sending it to the bottom of the ocean with all crew aboard as Arronax watches from the saloon. Nemo bows before the pictures of his wife and children and is plunged into deep depression after this encounter, and "voluntarily or involuntarily" allows the submarine to wander into an encounter with the Moskstraumen, more commonly known as the "Maelstrom", a whirlpool off the coast of Norway. This gives the three prisoners an opportunity to escape; they make it back to land alive, but the fate of Captain Nemo and his crew is not revealed.
About the Author Jules Verne
Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science-fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Journey to the Center of the Earth (written in 1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1869–1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical submarines were invented, and before any means of space travel had been devised. Consequently he is often referred to as the "Father of science fiction", along with H. G. Wells. Verne is the second most translated author of all time, only behind Agatha Christie with 4162 translations, according to Index Translationum. Some of his work have been made into films.
Jules Verne was born to Pierre Verne, and his wife, Sophie-Henriette Allotte de la Fuÿe (died 1887), in the bustling harbor city of Nantes in Western France. The oldest of five children, he spent his early years at home with his parents. The family spent summers in a country house just outside the city, on the banks of the Loire River. Verne and his brother Paul, of whom Verne was very fond, would often rent a boat for a franc a day. The sight of the many ships navigating the river sparked Verne's imagination, as he describes in the autobiographical short story "Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse". When Verne was nine, he and Paul were sent to boarding school at the Saint Donatien College (Petit séminaire de Saint-Donatien). As a child, he developed a great interest in travel and exploration, a passion he showed as a writer of adventure stories and science fiction. At twelve, he snuck onto a ship that was bound for India, only to be caught and severely whipped by his father. He famously quoted: "I shall from now on only travel in my imagination."At the boarding school, Jules Verne studied Latin, which he used in his short story "Le Mariage de Monsieur Anselme des Tilleuls" in the mid-1850s. One of his teachers may have been the French inventor Brutus de Villeroi, professor of drawing and mathematics at Saint Donatien in 1842, and who later became famous for creating the U.S. Navy's first submarine, the U.S.S. Alligator. De Villeroi may have inspired Verne's conceptual design for the Nautilus in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, although no direct exchanges between the two men have been recorded. At Nantes in 1835, when De Villeroi and a companion submerged for two hours in a ten foot submarine, Verne was seven years old. For years afterward De Villeroi carried on submarine experiments in Nantes.
After completing his studies at the lycée, Jules Verne went to Paris to study law. About 1848, in conjunction with Michel Carré, he began writing librettos for operettas (he was co-librettist of Colin-Millard, a one act opera comique by Aristide Hignard). For some years his attentions were divided between the theatre and work, but some travelers' stories which he wrote for the Musée des Familles revealed to him his talent for writing fiction.
When Jules Verne's father discovered that his son was writing rather than studying law, he promptly withdrew his financial support. Verne was forced to support himself as a stockbroker, which he hated despite being somewhat successful at it. During this period, he met Alexandre Dumas, père and Victor Hugo, who offered him writing advice. Dumas would become a close friend of Verne. Verne also met Honorine de Viane Morel, a widow with two daughters. They were married on January 10, 1857. With her encouragement, he continued to write and actively looked for a publisher. On August 3, 1861, their son, Michel Jean Verne, was born. A classic enfant terrible, Michel was sent to Mettray Penal Colony in 1876 and later married an actress (in spite of Verne's objections), had two children by his 16-year-old mistress, and buried himself in debts. The relationship between father and son did improve as Michel grew older.
Verne's situation improved when he met Pierre-Jules Hetzel, one of the most important French publishers of the 19th century, who also published Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, and Erckmann-Chatrian, among others. They formed an excellent writer-publisher team until Hetzel's death. Hetzel helped improve Verne's writings, which until then had been repeatedly rejected by other publishers. Hetzel read a draft of Verne's story about the balloon exploration of Africa, which had been rejected by other publishers for being "too scientific". With Hetzel's help, Verne rewrote the story, which was published in 1863 in book form as Cinq semaines en ballon (Five Weeks in a Balloon). Acting on Hetzel's advice, Verne added comical accents to his novels, changed sad endings into happy ones, and toned down various political messages.
From that point to years after Jules Verne's death, Hetzel published two or more volumes a year. The most successful of these include: Voyage au centre de la terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1864); De la terre à la lune (From the Earth to the Moon, 1865); Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, 1869); and Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in Eighty Days), which first appeared in Le Temps in 1872. The series is collectively known as "Les voyages extraordinaires" ("extraordinary voyages"). Verne could now live on his writings. But most of his wealth came from the stage adaptations of Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (1874) and Michel Strogoff (1876), a relatively conventional adventure tale set in Tsarist Russia, which he adapted for the stage with Adolphe d'Ennery. In 1867 Verne bought a small ship, the Saint-Michel, which he successively replaced with the Saint-Michel II and the Saint-Michel III as his financial situation improved. On board the Saint-Michel III, he sailed around Europe. In 1870, he was appointed "Chevalier" (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur. After his first novel, most of his stories were first serialised in the Magazine d'Éducation et de Récréation, a Hetzel biweekly publication, before being published in the form of books. Jules' brother Paul contributed to a non-fiction story "Fortieth Ascent of Mont Blanc" ("Quarantième ascension du Mont-Blanc") to the collection of short stories, Doctor Ox (1874). According to the Unesco Index Translationum, Jules Verne regularly places among the top five most translated authors in the world.
On March 9, 1886, as Jules Verne approached his own home, his twenty-five-year-old nephew Gaston, who suffered from paranoia, shot twice at him with a gun. One bullet missed, but the second entered Verne's left leg, giving him a permanent limp. Gaston spent the rest of his life in an asylum. After the deaths of Hetzel and his beloved mother in 1887, Verne began writing darker works. This may have been due partly to changes in his personality, but an important factor was that Hetzel's son, who took over his father's business, was not as rigorous in his edits and corrections as Hetzel Sr. had been.
In 1888, Verne entered politics and was elected town councilor of Amiens, where he championed several improvements and served for fifteen years. Though elected from the left he stood with the right on Dreyfus Affair and was anti-Dreyfusard. In 1905, ill with diabetes, Verne died at his home, 44 Boulevard Longueville (now Boulevard Jules-Verne). His son Michel oversaw publication of his last novels Invasion of the Sea and The Lighthouse at the End of the World. The "Voyages extraordinaires" series continued for several years afterwards in the same rhythm of two volumes a year. It was later discovered that Michel Verne had made extensive changes in these stories, and the original versions were published at the end of the 20th century. In 1863, Verne wrote Paris in the 20th Century, a novel about a young man who lives in a world of glass skyscrapers, high-speed trains, gas-powered automobiles, calculators, and a worldwide communications network, yet cannot find happiness and comes to a tragic end. Hetzel thought the novel's pessimism would damage Verne's then booming career, and suggested he wait 20 years to publish it. Verne put the manuscript in a safe, where it was discovered by his great-grandson in 1989. It was published in 1994. .
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - New
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