Jules Verne (Nantes 1828 - Amiens 1905)

Evans: " author more repaid judicious skipping."

Brother Paul became a deep-sea captain; Jules shipped on the Coralie

1863        Five Weeks in a Balloon (across unexplored Africa)

1864        Journey (Voyage) to the Centre of the Earth (underworld sea, prehistoric monsters, etc.)  film: 1960 (Pat Boone, James Mason, Arlene Dahl)  Note Prof. Challenger series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), begun w/ The Lost World (1912) and filmed in 1925 (Wallace Beery) and 1960 (Michael Rennie, Jill St. John, Claude Rains, Fernando Lamas)

1865        From the Earth to the Moon (Barbicane, president of the Baltimore Gun Club, is shot w/ Fr. adventurer Michel Ardan and antagonist Capt. Nicholl to Moon, only to become satellite)  Film: 1958 (Joseph Cotten, George Sanders, Deborah Paget) and used loosely by Georges Méliès (1861-1938) for Le Voyage dans la lune/A Trip to the Moon (1902)

1866        Les Aventures du Capitaine Hatteras (The English at the North Pole) (polar exploration discovers volcanic island; note Hyperborea resonance)

1870        Round the Moon (sequel to From the Earth to the Moon explaining near miss by Earth meteor's influence, describing the moon, and bringing adventurers back to crack off bowsprit of a U. S. Navy frigate in the Pacific)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Film: 1916 (diva Geraldine Farrar as Joan of Arc) and 1954 (dir. Richard Fleischer; James Mason, Peter Lorre, Kirk Douglas) (cf. Fantastic Voyage, 1966, Stephen Boyd, Arthur Kennedy, Raquel Welch; dir. Richard Fleischer; and cf. Inner Space, 1987, Dennis Quaid, Martin Short)

David Bushnell's one-man Turtle attempts to sink HMS Eagle off New York in 1776.  Robert Fulton sails functional submarine Nautilus for Napoleon in Seine (1807).  17 Feb 1864: CSA sub Hunley sinks USA frigate Housatonic anchored in Charleston Harbor, S.C.; no casualties on USA ship, but all 9 crew of Hunley lost in action.  JV takes pleasure cruise on the Great Eastern and buys "floating study" St. Michel

1872        Doctor Ox and Other Stories contains a running joke called "Une Fantasie du Dr. Ox" in which Ox and his assistant Ygène slowly gas a somnoloent Flemish village and make vegetables huge and humans and animals fiery-tempered (see Wells, 1904)

1873        Around the World in 80 Days (Phileas Fogg wins race bet, saves maiden, and tames American West w/ faithful Passepartout) JV's most popular book: sells over 1 million copies hardback in 1st year.  Film: 1956 (David Niven, Cantinflas), Best Picture.  N.b.: American journalist Nellie Bly: 14 Nov 1889-25 Jan 1890-72 days 6 hrs 11 mins.  JV buys St. Michel II.

1875        The Mysterious Island (five Northern prisoners escape CSA camp by balloon to become super-Crusoes and get helped by unseen hand of misanthrope [Nemo] driven mad by loneliness) Film: 1929 (Lionel Barrymore) and 1961 (Ray Harryhausen special effects) (see Poe below)

1879        The Begum's Millions: idealism of bourgeois Frankville is pitted agst the greed of militaristic Stahlstadt in the Olympic Mtns

1887        Adventures of the Rat Family (publ in enlarged version 1891): only fairy tale, uses catalogs, evolution (transmigration), self-reflexivity, and social satire to achieve happy, chauvinist, classist ending (but note: philosophical father Raton stays a rat)

1889        Purchase of the North Pole (Baltimore Gun Club yet again, using Maston as boy-mathematician, attempts to shift Earth's axis to reveal polar mineral treasures)

1897        Le Sphinx des glaces/An Antarctic Mystery/The Ice Sphinx sequel to The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838) by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) (who used Benjamin Morrell's Narrative of Four Voyages to the South Seas and Pacific [1832] + "Report of the Committee on Naval Affairs" [1835] on the proposed expedition of Poe's acquaintance J. N. Reynolds).

Note:        Poe, "The Unparalleled Adventures of One Hans Pfall," in Southern Literary Messenger, June 1835: by balloon to the moon; EAP linked to RAL following...

Richard Adams Locke (1800-1871) (friend of Poe), The Moon Hoax begun in New York Sun, August 1835, reports civilization on the moon

Poe, "The Balloon Hoax," New York Sun, 13 Apr 1844: "factual" report of Atlantic crossing by gale

See also Daniel Defoe (1660?-1731), Robinson Crusoe (1719), an enormous embellishment of Alexander Selkirk's years (1704-1709) on Juan Fernandez (400 mis. W of Chile), which was presented as a true story (Stanislaw Lem: " become a true Robinson...the world, exactly as it is found, must be put to rights, and in a civilized fashion...The world of the Nowhere a utopia." A Perfect Vacuum, 10-11)

1901        Le Village aërien (transl as The Village in the Treetops): safari survivors seeking a return to civilization move steadily backward until they reach the pre-verbal "Waggdis" (who, it is hinted, will be overwhelmed by European colonialism) (see ERBurroughs' Caspak series)

1902        Les Frères Kip: brothers wrongly confined to a Tasmanian penal colony are exonerated after their escape when an enormous blow-up of a dead man's eye reveals the culprit (see Wm H Rhodes, "Phases in the Life of John Pollexfen" [pre-1876])

1910        The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz, an invisible man story, which Versins calls JV's most perfectly romantic, in which the heroine regains her natural opacity only "in giving the world a son" (R: JV's typical male chauvinism; cf. with Wells, 1897)

                 Yesterday and Tomorrow (including "Amiens in 2000 A.D." "In the Twenty-Ninth Century," "The Eternal Adam" [periodic deluge; see Asimov's "Nightfall"], etc.) (more Wellsian)

Note: JV's films known for their special effects while HGW's are known primarily for good acting

Donald Wollheim: all SF divided into 4 categories:

                 1) Imaginary voyages

                 2) Future Predictions

                 3) Remarkable Inventions

                 4) Social Satire

JV is usually in 1, often in 2 and/or 3, but almost always stereotypically in 4; HGW is always in 3 and seriously in 4 & therefore (?) more adult and enduring.  Compare, for example, Verne's Dr. Ox's Experiment (1872) and Wells's The Food of the Gods (1904)

Herbert George Wells (1866-1946)

Lower class parentage; turned continually to books by health; fails as a draper's apprentice

1895        The Time Machine (Eloi effete masters and Morlocks degenerate workers) won "instant" acclaim (preceded in 1888 by The Chronic Argonauts).  Film: 1960 (Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux) (see Campbell's "Twilight" (1934); Disraeli, Sybil, or the Two Nations, 1845)

1896        The Island of Dr. Moreau (men from beasts) Film: 1933: Island of Lost Souls w/ Charles Laughton (married to bride of Frankenstein) and Bela Lugosi (hero: Dr. Prendick).

1897        The Invisible Man (Faustian: ended by Ipping Villagers in Surrey) Film: 1933 (Claude Rains; dir. James Whale)

1898        The War of the Worlds (Martians feed on human blood, but bacteria feed on them)  "Invasion from Mars," Howard Koch's script for Orson Welles' broadcast of 30 Oct 38 (cf. Finnish Jan 86 radio broadcast of Jan Hartman's "The Next War"; Portugese broadcast of Wells adaptation, Nov 88).  Film: 1953 (prod., George Pal, who earlier won Academy Award for Special Effects for When Worlds Collide, 1951).  G. V. Schiaparelli (1835-1910) reports channels (canali) on Mars from sightings of 1877 and 1879.  Percival Lowell (1855-1916) tries to prove these are artificial (Mars, 1896; Mars as the Abode of Life, 1908; Mars and Its Canals, 1911), providing materials for HGW and for Edgar Rice Burroughs' (1875-1950) first Mars book, A Princess of Mars (All-Story, Feb 1912) (cf. Tarzan of the Apes, Oct 1912)

1899        When the Sleeper Wakes (dystopian novel of aerial warfare and super-corps (cf. Heinlein, "The Roads Must Roll")

1901        The First Men in the Moon (Cavor, who is finally slain, and Bedford, who returns, go to Moon by means of Cavorite gravity blinds to find underground life and diurnal atmosphere; agst regimentation; specialized ants as Selenites; Cavor's messages give Swiftian satire, especially dialogue w/ Grand Lunar) Film: 1964 (Br) Lionel Jeffries and Martha Hyer

1903        Joins Fabian Society

1904        The Food of the Gods (in which little [ordinary] people resist the mental and physical enlargement flowing from a scientifically discovered supernutrient [which they call poison] promising a possible socialist utopian future) (see Verne, 1872) (In the 1976 movie, the nutrient spontaneously bubbles up through the soil on a farm.)

1905        A Modern Utopia (blueprint for takeover of world by physical and intellectual elite called Samurai) (cf. Guardians in Republic of Plato [c. 429-347 B.C.])

1906        In the Days of the Comet (passing gas improves all humanity); compare with Henry James’s “The Great Good Place” (1900), a rejuvenating posthumous (?) fantasy visit to Heaven (?)

                 Fought and lost Fabian factional dispute with G. B. Shaw

1907        First and Last Things (exposition of HGW's political and social philosophy)

                 Joins Eugenics Education Society

1908        The War in the Air (cf. Moorcock's Warlord of the Air, 1971)

                 Resigns from Fabian Society

1909        Tono-Bungay (rise, after civilization's collapse, of a new rich British middle class; Uncle Teddy sells snake oil, then soap; nephew George Ponderevo builds battleships instead)

1914        The War That Will End War (optimistic)

1920        The Outline of History (cross-cultural, pattern-seeking; sold 1/4 million four-volume copies just in first American editon)

1923        Men Like Gods (bright, pacific, usually nude utopia Barnstaple finds through the fourth dimension [cf. episodic The Story of the Treasure Seekers (Bastable children), 1898, and The Railway Children, 1906, by Edith Nesbit, a founder of the Fabian Society])

1929        The Science of Life (w/ Julian Huxley [HGW studied under Thomas Huxley 1884-1887] and son GPW) (biological pattern seeking)

1933        The Shape of Things to Come (future regimented stable society run by enlightened engineers) Film: 1936 (Raymond Massey and Ralph Richardson; HGW scenario; dir & set design, Wm Cameron Menzies)

1934        Experiment in Autobiography

1937        Star-Begotten (Martians are modifying us long distance; uses term "Big Brother")

Only plays were in collaboration: Kipps (1905; an aspiring draper's asst is undone by unexpected inheritance) w/ Rudolph Besier (1912) and The Wonderful Visit (1895; an Angel displaced from the Land of Dreams looks critically at Victorian England) w/ St-Jean Ervine (1921)


Carlos Clarens, An Illustrated History of the Horror Film (NY: 1967)

Richard Hauer Costa, H. G. Wells (NY: 1967)

I. O. Evans, Jules Verne and His Work (NY: 1966)

James D. Hart, ed., The Oxford Companion to American Literature, 4th ed. (NY: 1965)

Paul Harvey, ed., The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 4th ed. (Oxford: 1967)

Howard Koch, The Panic Broadcast (Boston: 1970)

Roger Manvell & Lewis Jacobs, The International Encyclopedia of Film (NY: 1972)

Steven Scheuer, Movies on TV (NY: 1971, esp for dates and ratings)

Brian Taves, “Afterword,” Jules Verne, Adventures of the Rat Family, Evelyn Copeland, transl (NY:1993)

Pierre Versins, Encyclopédie de l'utopie et de la science fiction (Lausanne: 1972)

Donald Wollheim, The Universe Makers (NY: 1971)


Biblical references for THE WAR OF THE WORLDS

(light numbers in edition ending on p. 254; bold numbers in edition ending on p. 277)

For pp. 127-128/133-134 + 132/139:

Gen 3:22-24     And the Lord God said: Behold, the man is become one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

(For flaming sword image and death, as on pp. 122-123/129-130, see also:

Rev 6: 7-8      And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.  And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.  And Power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.)

For p. 134/141:

Matt 4:19     And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

For p. 148/157:

Exodus 13:21     And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.

For p. 160/171:

Revelations 19:2-3     For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.  And again they [heavenly voices] said, Alleluia.  And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

For p. 244/267:

2 Kings 19:34-36: For I [God] will defend this city to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt in Nineveh.

Notes Copyright © 1980-2001 Eric S. Rabkin