The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 6

The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 6

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The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 6

The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 6

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The Mysterious Island" is a sequel or conclusion to "Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea." "Dropped from the Clouds," the first portion of the celebrated tale, appeared in 1870. But it was not until 1875 that the story was finished by the completion of its other two books "The Abandoned" and "The Secret of the Island."

Thus, long before the books were ended, it is probable that every French reader knew that Captain Nemo was the mysterious protector of the American colonists of the story. For Verne himself made no secret to his friends of the very open "mystery."

It was worth noting that in these books Verne for the first time treats American characters with sympathy and appreciation. In his choice of heroes he was always thoroughly cosmopolitan. He early declared that his own countrymen were too excitable to be used as the central figures of adventure tales. At first he selected Englishmen; because, as he said, "their independence and self-possession in moments of sudden trial make them admirable heroes." To their other national traits he gave little attention, Captain Hatteras for instance being anything but a typical Englishman.

When, in the "Trip to the Moon" Verne for the first time shifted his ground and made Americans the central figures, this was but a natural echo of the European feeling of the moment. Europe was filled with amazement over the marvelous inventions by which during the years 1861 to 1865, American engineers, both North and South, had "transformed the navies of the world." A stupendous invention was to be the heart of Verne's book; naturally the inventors would be American.

Those first Americans of our author's creation were, how . . .

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