The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 10

The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 10

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The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 10

The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 10

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In 1878 appeared "Dick Sands," the epic of the slave trade. This picture of the wilds ofAfrica, its adventures and its dangers, the savage hunting both of beasts and men, has always been a favorite among Verne's readers.

It contains no marvels, no inventions, but merely, amid stirring scenes and actions, seeks to convey two truthful impressions. One is the traveler's teaching, the geographical information, the Picture of Africa as explorers, botanists, and zoologists have found it. The other is the moral lesson of the awful curse of slavery, its brutalizing, horrible influence upon all who come in touch with it, and the absolutely devastating effect it has had upon Africa itself.

The trade in human flesh has within the past century converted Africa into an unpeopled wilderness "and called it peace." Truly the contact of our modern civilization with so-called barbarians has always been most destructive to the, barbarians. It is against this hideous aspect of modern progress that Jules Verne here uplifts a stern and vehement accusing voice.

As to the intense admiration which Verne felt for the explorers of Africa, especially the heroic missionaries, he had given full expression to that sentiment in his previous African tale "Five Weeks in a Balloon." Yet he here returns to the theme once more, bringing into his book an account of the noble work of the most celebrated of African missionaries, David Livingstone. While the story of Livingstone, and his rescue by Henry M. Stanley, has little close connection with the story of Dick Sands and his friends, probably no reader will regret to find the heroic career of Livingstone truthfully and sympathetically interwoven with the more imaginary tale.

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