The Extraordinary Voyages of Jules Verne September 28 2015, 0 Comments

Up above the clouds and down to the fiery center of the earth. Deep in the ocean’s dark depths to  distant, mysterious islands. The fifty-four adventure novels of Jules Verne--known as the Extraordinary Voyages--take readers to all these places and more, weaving science with wonder, exploration, and excitement.

Born in Nantes, France, as the eldest son of a respect lawyer, Verne pursued law for several years. But in 1851, he published the short story “A Voyage in a Balloon,” the whimsical tale of a man in a hot air balloon who encounters an unexpected passenger just as he begins his ascent. With excitement, suspense, a focus on traveling, and historical and scientific details, Verne has found his voice and a mission for his writing: to take readers by the hand and whip them off on fantastic adventures; to give them a glimpse of not only the world, but the universe. He writes, “My object has been to depict the earth, and not the earth alone, but the universe.”

Verne's family assumed he would take over his father’s law practice. But despite facing the unsure future that came with a writing career, Verne turned down his father’s offer of financial security as a lawyer. “Am I not right to follow my own instincts?” he wrote. “It’s because I know who I am that I realize what I can be one day.” Verne’s instincts proved right as his adventure novels quickly rose to fame. Today, he is known as one of the forerunners of the science fiction genre and the second most-translated author after Shakespeare.

Verne's editor, Pierre-Jules Hetzel, described Verne's goals as "to outline all the geographical, geological, physical, and astronomical knowledge amassed by modern science and to recount, in an entertaining and picturesque format...the history of the universe." And by all accounts, he accomplished that feat.

In Around the World in Eighty Days, Englishman Phileas Fogg takes on a risky wager to circumnavigate the world in 80 days, traveling by boat, train, elephant, and more to win. Journey to the Center of the Earth takes readers deep below the earth’s surface, where geysers, giant insects, and prehistoric animals lie in wait. Travel further still in From the Earth to the Moon as Verne, writing in 1865, calculates with surprising accuracy the necessary steps for humans to reach the moon.

All fifty-four of the Voyages Extraordinaires novels whisk readers off to exotic lands and distant cultures on harrowing journeys. Yet through carefully researched details of geology, biology, astronomy, paleontology, oceanography, and cultural studies, Verne’s novels not only entertain through fiction, but awaken readers to the true wonder and beauty of the world right around them.

Travel up in the clouds, below the waves, across the moon, and beyond in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, All Around the Moon, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, From Earth to the Moon, Around the World in Eighty Days, and The Mysterious Island, published in the Open LORE Classics Library with restored original artwork, adapted for optimum readability on Open LORE Read.