Around the World in Eighty Days

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Around the World in Eighty Days
Cover of the first edition (1873)
First edition cover from 1873
Author(s) Jules Verne
Original title Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours
Translator George Makepeace Towle[2]
Illustrator Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville and Léon Benett[3]
Country France
Language French
Series The Extraordinary Voyages #11
Genre(s) Adventure novel
Publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel
Publication date January 30, 1873[1]
Published in English 1873
Preceded by The Fur Country
Followed by The Mysterious Island

Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, first published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager (equal to £1,324,289 today) set by his friends at the Reform Club. It is one of Verne's most acclaimed works.



[edit] Plot summary

The story starts in London on October 2, 1872. Phileas Fogg is a rich English gentleman and bachelor living in solitude at Number 7 Savile Row, Burlington Gardens. Despite his wealth, which is £40,000 (equal to £2,648,577 today), Mr Fogg, whose countenance is described as "repose in action", lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about Mr. Fogg's social life other than that he is a member of the Reform Club. Having dismissed his former valet, James Foster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F (29 °C) instead of 86 °F (30 °C), Mr Fogg hires a Frenchman by the name of Jean Passepartout, who is about 30 years old, as a replacement.

Later, on that day, in the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph, stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for £20,000 from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by Monsieur Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8:45 P.M. on October 2, 1872, and thus is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, on December 21.

Map of the trip
The proposed schedule
London, United Kingdom to Suez, Egypt rail and steamer across Mediterranean 7 days
Suez to Bombay, India steamer through Red Sea and Indian Ocean 13 days
Bombay to Calcutta, India rail 3 days
Calcutta to Hong Kong, China steamer across South China Sea 13 days
Hong Kong to Yokohama, Japan steamer across South China Sea, East China Sea and through Pacific Ocean 6 days
Yokohama to San Francisco, United States steamer across Pacific Ocean 22 days
San Francisco to New York City, United States rail 7 days
New York to London steamer across Atlantic Ocean and rail 9 days
Total 80 days

Fogg and Passepartout reach Suez in time. While disembarking in Egypt, they are watched by a Scotland Yard detective named Fix, who has been dispatched from London in search of a bank robber. Because Fogg happens to answer the description of the bank robber, Fix mistakes Fogg for the criminal. Since he cannot secure a warrant in time, Fix goes on board the steamer conveying the travellers to Bombay. During the voyage, Fix becomes acquainted with Passepartout, without revealing his purpose. On the voyage, Fogg promises the engineer a large reward if he gets them to Bombay early. They dock two days ahead of schedule.

After reaching India they take a train from Bombay (known today as Mumbai) to Calcutta (Kolkata). About halfway there, Fogg learns that the Daily Telegraph newspaper article was wrong—the railroad ends at Kholby and starts again 50 miles further on at Allahabad. Fogg promptly buys an elephant, hires a guide, and starts toward Allahabad.

During the ride, they come across a procession, in which a young Indian woman, Aouda, is led to a sanctuary to be sacrificed by the process of suttee the next day by Brahmins. Since the young woman is drugged with the smoke of opium and hemp and is obviously not going voluntarily, the travellers decide to rescue her. They follow the procession to the site, where Passepartout secretly takes the place of Aouda's deceased husband on the funeral pyre, on which she is to be burned the next morning. During the ceremony, he then rises from the pyre, scaring off the priests, and carries the young woman away. Due to this incident, the two days gained earlier are lost, but Fogg shows no sign of regret.

The travellers then hasten on to catch the train at the next railway station, taking Aouda with them. At Calcutta, they can finally board a steamer going to Hong Kong. Fix, who has secretly been following them, has Fogg and Passepartout arrested in Calcutta. However, they jump bail and Fix is forced to follow them to Hong Kong. On board, he shows himself to Passepartout, who is delighted to meet again his travelling companion from the earlier voyage.

In Hong Kong, it turns out that Aouda's distant relative, in whose care they had been planning to leave her, has moved, probably to Holland, so they decide to take her with them to Europe. Meanwhile, still without a warrant, Fix sees Hong Kong as his last chance to arrest Fogg on British soil. Around this time, Passepartout becomes convinced that Fix is a spy from the Reform Club trying to see if Fogg is really going around the world. However, Fix confides in Passepartout, who does not believe a word and remains convinced that his master is not a bank robber. To prevent Passepartout from informing his master about the premature departure of their next vessel, Fix gets Passepartout drunk and drugs him in an opium den. In his dizziness, Passepartout still manages to catch the steamer to Yokohama, but neglects to inform Fogg.

Fogg, on the next day, discovers that he has missed his connection. He goes in search of a vessel that will take him to Yokohama. He finds a pilot boat that takes him and Aouda to Shanghai, where they catch a steamer to Yokohama. In Yokohama, they go on a search for Passepartout, believing that he may have arrived there on the original boat. They find him in a circus, trying to earn the fare for his homeward journey. Reunited, the four board a steamer taking them across the Pacific to San Francisco. Fix promises Passepartout that now, having left British soil, he will no longer try to delay Fogg's journey, but rather support him in getting back to Britain as fast as possible to minimize the amount of his share of the stolen money that Fogg can spend.

In San Francisco they get on a trans-American train to New York, encountering a number of obstacles (as well as a Mormon missionary) along the way: a massive herd of bison crossing the tracks, a failing suspension bridge, and most disastrously, the train is attacked and overcome by Sioux warriors. After heroically uncoupling the locomotive from the carriages, Passepartout is kidnapped by the Indians, but Fogg rescues him after some American soldiers volunteer to help. They continue by a wind powered sledge over the snowy prairie to Omaha, where they get a train to New York.

Once in New York, and having missed departure of their ship (the China) by 45 minutes, Fogg starts looking for an alternative for the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. He finds a small steamboat, destined for Bordeaux. However, the captain of the boat refuses to take the company to Liverpool, whereupon Fogg consents to be taken to Bordeaux for the price of $2000 (equal to $38,800 today) per passenger. On the voyage, he bribes the crew to mutiny and take course for Liverpool. Against hurricane winds and going on full steam all the time, the boat runs out of fuel after a few days. Fogg buys the boat at a very high price from the captain, soothing him thereby, and has the crew burn all the wooden parts to keep up the steam.

The companions arrive at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, in time to reach London via Dublin and Liverpool before the deadline. However, once on British soil again, Fix produces a warrant and arrests Fogg. A short time later, the misunderstanding is cleared up—the actual bank robber had been caught three days earlier in Edinburgh. In response to this, Fogg, in a rare moment of impulse, punches Fix, who immediately falls to the ground. However, Fogg has missed the train and returns to London five minutes late, assured that he has lost the wager.

In his London house the next day, he apologises to Aouda for bringing her with him, since he now has to live in poverty and cannot financially support her. Aouda suddenly confesses that she loves him and asks him to marry her, which he gladly accepts. He calls for Passepartout to notify the reverend. At the reverend's, Passepartout learns that he is mistaken in the date, which he takes to be Sunday but which actually is Saturday because the party travelled east, thereby gaining a full day on their journey around the globe, by crossing the International Date Line.

Famous book dénouement as cited on page 312 of Around the World in Eighty Days; Philadelphia -- Porter & Coates, 1873[4]

He did not notice this after landing in North America because the only phase of the trip that depended on vehicles departing less often than daily was the Atlantic crossing, and he had hired his own ship for that.

Passepartout hurries back to Fogg, who immediately sets off for the Reform Club, where he arrives just in time to win the wager. Fogg marries Aouda and the journey around the world is complete.

Passepartout and Fogg carried only a carpet bag with only two shirts and three pairs of stockings each, a mackintosh, a travelling cloak, and a spare pair of shoes. The only book they carried is Bradshaw's Continental Railway Steam Transit and General Guide. This contains timetables of trains and steamers. He also carried a huge roll of English banknotes-about £20,000. He also left with twenty guineas (equal to £1,391 today) won at whist, of which he soon disposed.[5]

[edit] Background and analysis

Around the World in Eighty Days was written during difficult times, both for France and for Verne. It was during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871) in which Verne was conscripted as a coastguard, he was having money difficulties (his previous works were not paid royalties), his father had died recently, and he had witnessed a public execution which had disturbed him.[6] However despite all this, Verne was excited about his work on the new book, the idea of which came to him one afternoon in a Paris café while reading a newspaper (see "Origins" below).

The technological innovations of the 19th century had opened the possibility of rapid circumnavigation and the prospect fascinated Verne and his readership.[6] In particular three technological breakthroughs occurred in 1869-70 that made a tourist-like around-the-world journey possible for the first time: the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in America (1869), the linking of the Indian railways across the sub-continent (1870), and the opening of the Suez Canal (1869).[6] It was another notable mark in the end of an age of exploration and the start of an age of fully global tourism that could be enjoyed in relative comfort and safety. It sparked the imagination that anyone could sit down, draw up a schedule, buy tickets and travel around the world, a feat previously reserved for only the most heroic and hardy of adventurers.[6]

Verne is often characterised as a futurist or science fiction author but there is not a glimmer of science-fiction in this, his most popular work (at least in English speaking countries).[6] Rather than any futurism, it remains a memorable portrait of the British Empire "on which the sun never sets" shortly before its very peak, drawn by an outsider.[6] It is also interesting to note that, as of 2006, there has never been a critical edition of Around the World in Eighty Days. This is in part due to the poor translations available of his works, the stereotype of "science fiction" or "boys' literature". However, Verne's works were being looked at more seriously in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with new translations and scholarship appearing. It is also rather interesting to note that the book is a source of common notable English and extended British attitudes in quotes such as, "Phileas Fogg and Sir Francis Cromarty ... endured the discomfort with true British phlegm, talking little, and scarcely able to catch a glimpse of each other" as seen in Chapter Twelve when the group is being jostled around on the elephant ride across the jungle. Also seen in chapter Twenty-Five, when Phileas Fogg is insulted in San Francisco, and Detective Fix acknowledges that "It was clear that Mr. Fogg was one of those Englishmen who, while they do not tolerate dueling at home, fight abroad when their honor is attacked."

The closing date of the novel, 22 December 1872, was also the same date as the serial publication.[6] As it was being published serially for the first time, some readers believed that the journey was actually taking place — bets were placed, and some railway companies and ship liner companies actually lobbied Verne to appear in the book.[6] It is unknown if Verne actually submitted to their requests, but the descriptions of some rail and shipping lines leave some suspicion he was influenced.[6]

Although a journey by hot air balloon has become one of the images most strongly associated with the story, this iconic symbol was never deployed in the book by Verne himself – the idea is briefly brought up in chapter 32, but dismissed, it "would have been highly risky and, in any case, impossible." However the popular 1956 movie adaptation Around the World in Eighty Days floated the balloon idea, and it has now become a part of the mythology of the story, even appearing on book covers. This plot element is reminiscent of Verne's earlier Five Weeks in a Balloon which first made him a well-known author.

Following Towle and d'Anver's 1873 English translation, many people have tried to follow in the footsteps of Fogg's fictional circumnavigation, often within self-imposed constraints:

[edit] Origins

The idea of a trip around the world within a set period had clear external origins and was popular before Verne published his book in 1872. Even the title Around the World in Eighty Days is not original to Verne. About six sources[6] have been suggested as the origins of the story, as follows:

Greek traveller Pausanias (c. 100 AD) wrote a work that was translated into French in 1797 as Voyage autour du monde ("Around the World"). Verne's friend, Jacques Arago, had written a very popular Voyage autour du monde in 1853. However in 1869/70 the idea of travelling around the world reached critical popular attention when three geographical breakthroughs occurred: the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in America (1869), the linking of the Indian railways across the sub-continent (1870), and the opening of the Suez Canal (1869). In 1871 appeared Around the World by Steam, via Pacific Railway, published by the Union Pacific Railroad Company, and an Around the World in A Hundred and Twenty Days by Edmond Planchut. Between 1869 and 1871, an American William Perry Fogg went around the world describing his tour in a series of letters to The Cleveland Leader, titled Round the World: Letters from Japan, China, India, and Egypt (1872). Additionally, in early 1870, the Erie Railway Company published a statement of routes, times, and distances detailing a trip around the globe of 23,739 miles in seventy-seven days and twenty-one hours.[7]

Another early reference comes from the Italian traveler Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri. He wrote a book in 1699 that was later translated into French: Voyage around the World or Voyage du Tour du Monde (1719, Paris).[8] The novel documents his trip as one of the first Europeans to circle the world for pleasure rather than profit, using publicly available transportation. Gemelli Careri provides rich accounts of seventeenth century civilization outside of Europe. These include details of Persia during the Ottoman Empire, Hindustan during the reign of Aurungzebe, the Chinese Lantern Festival and the Great Wall, as well as the native people of Meso-America. References to his books can be found in other historical publications like the Calcutta Review.

In 1872 Thomas Cook organised the first around the world tourist trip, leaving on 20 September 1872 and returning seven months later. The journey was described in a series of letters that were later published in 1873 as Letter from the Sea and from Foreign Lands, Descriptive of a tour Round the World. Scholars have pointed out similarities between Verne's account and Cook's letters, although some argue that Cook's trip happened too late to influence Verne.[6] Verne, according to a second-hand 1898 account, refers to a Thomas Cook advertisement as a source for the idea of his book.[6] In interviews in 1894 and 1904, Verne says the source was "through reading one day in a Paris cafe" and "due merely to a tourist advertisement seen by chance in the columns of a newspaper.”[6] Around the World itself says the origins were a newspaper article. All of these point to Cook's advert as being a probable spark for the idea of the book.[6]

Further, the periodical Le Tour du monde (3 October 1869) contained a short piece entitled "Around the World in Eighty Days", which refers to "140 miles" of railway not yet completed between Allahabad and Bombay, a central point in Verne's work.[6] But even the Le Tour de monde article was not entirely original; it cites in its bibliography the Nouvelles Annales des Voyages, de la Géographie, de l'Histoire et de l'Archéologie (August, 1869), which also contains the title Around the World in Eighty Days in its contents page.[6] The Nouvelles Annales were written by Conrad Malte-Brun (1775—1826) and his son Victor Adolphe Malte-Brun (1816—1889).[6] Scholars believe Verne was aware of either the Le Tour de monde article, or the Nouvelles Annales (or both), and consulted it — the 'Le Tour du monde even included a trip schedule very similar to Verne's final version.[6]

A possible inspiration was the traveller George Francis Train, who made four trips around the world, including one in 80 days in 1870. Similarities include the hiring of a private train and his being imprisoned. Train later claimed "Verne stole my thunder. I'm Phileas Fogg."[6]

Regarding the idea of gaining a day, Verne said of its origin: "I have a great number of scientific odds and ends in my head. It was thus that, when, one day in a Paris café, I read in the Siècle that a man could travel around the world in eighty days, it immediately struck me that I could profit by a difference of meridian and make my traveller gain or lose a day in his journey. There was a dénouement ready found. The story was not written until long after. I carry ideas about in my head for years – ten, or fifteen years, sometimes – before giving them form."[6] In his lecture of April 1873 "The Meridians and the Calendar", Verne responded to a question about where the change of day actually occurred, since the international date line had only become current in 1880 and the Greenwich prime meridian was not adopted internationally until 1884.[6] Verne cited an 1872 article in Nature, and Edgar Allan Poe's short story "Three Sundays in a Week" (1841), which was also based on going around the world and the difference in a day linked to a marriage at the end.[6] Verne even analysed Poe's story in his Edgar Poe and His Works (1864).

In summary either the periodical 'Le Tour du monde or the Nouvelles Annales, W. P. Fogg, probably Thomas Cook's advert (and maybe his letters) would be the main likely source for the book.[6] In addition, Poe's short story "Three Sundays in a Week" was clearly the inspiration for the lost day plot device.[6]

In hindsight, Poe's short story clearly pokes fun at the prospect of either gaining or losing a full day when traveling around the world. Evidently, Verne took Poe's position seriously enough though, thereby adapting a new novel which clearly bordered upon the impossible.

Poe's allegory depicts a first person who conjectured that traversing the earth in an easterly direction served to gain a day in the process. On the contrary, a second person, because of circumnavigating the world in a westerly direction, appeared to have lost a day. Lastly a third person, serving as a chronological reference point, stood at home idle.

Upon the return of the first two people to their original location, naturally the first person was thought to be in the future, the second in the past and the third in the present!

Detailed present-day reasoning against such possibility appears in Around the World in Eighty Days and its Doubling of Midnight.[9]

[edit] Literary significance and criticism

Select quotes:

  1. "We will only remind readers en passant of Around the World in Eighty Days, that tour de force of Mr Verne's—and not the first he has produced. Here, however, he has summarised and concentrated himself, so to speak ... No praise of his collected works is strong enough .. they are truly useful, entertaining, poignant, and moral; and Europe and America have merely produced rivals that are remarkably similar to them, but in any case inferior." (Henry Trianon, Le Constitutionnel, December 20, 1873).
  2. "His first books, the shortest, Around the World or From the Earth to the Moon, are still the best in my view. However, the works should be judged as a whole rather than in detail, and on their results rather than their intrinsic quality. Over the last forty years, they have had an influence unequalled by any other books on the children of this and every country in Europe. And the influence has been good, in so far as can be judged today." (Léon Blum, L'Humanité, April 3, 1905).
  3. "Jules Verne's masterpiece .. stimulated our childhood and taught us more than all the atlases: the taste of adventure and the love of travel. 'Thirty thousand banknotes for you, Captain, if we reach Liverpool within the hour.' This cry of Phileas Fogg's remains for me the call of the sea." (Jean Cocteau, Mon premier voyage (Tour du monde en 80 jours), Gallimard, 1936).
  4. "Leo Tolstoy loved his works. 'Jules Verne's novels are matchless', he would say. 'I read them as an adult, and yet I remember they excited me. Jules Verne is an astonishing past master at the art of constructing a story that fascinates and impassions the reader. (Cyril Andreyev, "Preface to the Complete Works", trans. François Hirsch, Europe, 33: 112-113, 22-48).
  5. "Jules Verne's work is nothing but a long meditation, a reverie on the straight line—which represents the predication of nature on industry and industry on nature, and which is recounted as a tale of exploration. Title: the adventures of a straight line ... The train.. cleaves through nature, jumps obstacles .. and continues both the actual journey—whose form is a furrow—and the perfect embodiment of human industry. The machine has the additional advantage here of not being isolated in a purpose-built, artificial place, like the factory or all similar structures, but of remaining in permanent and direct contact with the variety of nature." Pierre Macherey (1966).[10]

[edit] Adaptations and influences

The book has been adapted many times in different forms.

[edit] In games

  • The board game Around the World in 80 Days is derived from the novel.
  • "Around the World in 80 Days", group show curated by Jens Hoffman at the ICA London 2006

[edit] In literature

[edit] In music

  • "Around the Universe in 80 Days" is a song by the Canadian band Klaatu.

[edit] In musicals

  • In 1946 Orson Welles produced and starred in Around the World, a musical stage version, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, that was only loosely faithful to Verne's original.
  • A musical version, 80 Days, with songs by Ray Davies of The Kinks and a book by playwright Snoo Wilson, directed by Des McAnuff, ran at the Mandell Weiss Theatre in San Diego from August 23 to October 9, 1988. The musical received mixed responses from the critics. Ray Davies's multi-faceted music, McAnuff's directing, and the acting, however, were well received, with the show winning the "Best Musical" award from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle.[11]

[edit] In theater

[edit] Internet

  • "Around the World in 80 Dishes" is an online series hosted by Epicurious, whose tagline is "Explore the globe's most iconic recipes in this weekly video series".[13]

[edit] Onscreen

[edit] In other uses

[edit] References

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ Fehrmann, A.: Die Reise um die Erde in 80 Tagen. URL last accessed 2006-12-23.
  2. ^ "How Lewis Mercier and Eleanor King Brought You Jules Verne". Retrieved 1008-10-05. 
    Mercier is erroneously credited in some bibliographies with a translation of Around the World in 80 Days. The only reason for this attribution is the 1962 edition in England by Collier and in the U.S. by Doubleday of a "Junior Deluxe Edition" attributing the translation to "Mercier Lewis". There is no contemporary evidence of the existence of such a translation, and the book is in fact simply a bowdlerized version for young readers of Towle's 1873 translation.
    —Norman M. Wolcott
  3. ^ N.N.: Éditions Hetzel: Jules Verne - Cartonnages volumes simples: Le tour du monde en 80 jours. URL last accessed 2006-12-23.
  4. ^ TrueScans of Around the World in Eighty Days; Philadelphia -- Porter & Coates, 1873
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x William Butcher (translation and introduction). Around the World in Eighty Days, Oxford Worlds Classics, 1995, Introduction.
  7. ^ The Kansas Daily Tribune, February 5, 1870.
  8. ^ Voyage du Tour du Monde (1719, Paris). 
  9. ^ TrueScans of Around the World in Eighty Days and its Doubling of Midnight; 2011
  10. ^ Macherey, Pierre (1966). Pour une théorie de la production littéraire. Maspero. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Around the World in 80 Dishes". Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Cartoon Synopsis for An Indian Fantasy". 
  15. ^ Brown, Rob (March 17, 2012). "season1". Bravotv. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  16. ^

[edit] External links



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