The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 4

The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 4

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The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 4

The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 4

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Excerpt

The three books gathered under the title "In Search of the Castaways" occupied much of Verne's attention during the three years following 1865. The characters used in these books were afterwards reintroduced in "The Mysterious Island," which was in its turn a sequel to "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." Thus this entire set of books form a united series upon which Verne worked intermittently during ten years.

"In Search of the Castaways," which has also been published as "The Children of Captain Grant" and as "A Voyage Around the World," is perhaps most interesting in connection with the lost of these titles. It is our author's first distinctly geographical romance. By an ingenious device he sets before the rescuers a search which compels their circumnavigation of the globe around a certain parallel of the southern hemisphere. Thus they cross in turn through South America, Australia and New Zealand, besides visiting minor islands.

The three great regions form the sub-titles of the three books which compose the story. In each region the rescuers meet with adventures characteristic of the land. They encounter Indians in America; bushrangers in Australia; and Maoris in New Zealand. The passage of the searching party gives ground,--one is almost tempted to say, excuse, --for a close and careful description of each country and of its inhabitants, step by step. Even the lesser incidents of the story are employed to emphasize the distinctive features of each land. The explorers are almost frozen on the heights of the Andes, and almost drowned in the floods of the Patagonian Pampas. An avalanche sweeps some of them away; a condor carries off a lad. In Australia they . . .

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