The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 7

The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 7

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The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 7

The Works of Jules Verne - Vol. 7

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Excerpt

OF the four stories gathered in this volume in the order of their publication, "Round the World in Eighty Days" is the most celebrated. It was issued in 1872, not in the usual form in which Verne's books appeared, in Hetzel series of "Voyages Extraordinaires," but in "feuilleton." This French method of publication in "feuilleton," not wholly unknown in our own country, consists of publishing a chapter or so each day in some daily paper.

The universal interest which these daily feuilletons of "Round the World in Eighty Days" excited, was absolutely unprecedented. Both English and American reporters telegraphed to their papers each day, the entire daily portion, which was promptly reproduced. So that for once three great nations were reading the same story at the same time, bit by bit.

Seldom has any piece of fiction excited such a furor. Liberal offers were made to the author by various transportation companies, if he would advertise their routes by having his hero travel by them. And when the final passage of the Atlantic from America to England was to be accomplished, the bids for notice by the various transatlantic lines are said to have reached fabulous sums. Verne, with a high sense of professional etiquette and honesty to his readers, refused all these offers.

As to the central idea on which the story is based, the unconscious gaining of a day by circumnavigation eastward, Verne tells us that the thought was suggested to him while reading in a café of the new possibility of making the circuit in eighty days. He saw the difficulty with the meridians, and the possibilities of the story flashed upon him.

"A Floating City," published in 1871, enjoyed in our own country a popularity almost equal to that of "Round the World in Eighty Days. . . ."

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