Brian Taves and
An Ordinary Treatment of the Voyages
Herbert R. Lottman. Jules Verne: An
Exploratory Biography. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996.
R. Lottman. Jules
Verne. Translated by Marianne Véron. Paris: Flammarion,
1996. 430pp. 150FF.
Several books on Jules Verne (1828-1905) have
been translated from French into English, including biographies by Verne's cousin (1928)
and grandson (1976), and a study of the political themes in Verne's novels by Jean
Chesneaux (1972).1 Now, for the first time, the reverse has occurred: a book on
Jules Verne originally written in English has been translated into his native language.
Sadly, Herbert R. Lottman's new biography of Verne, also published in France (in a
translation by Marianne Véron), is not worthy of holding such a distinctive position in
Although described by St. Martin's Press on the
dust jacket as the first "modern biography" of Verne ever written, there is a long
tradition of writing about the author, not only in French, but in English as well. During
his lifetime, newspapers and magazines in many languages offered numerous articles (many
of them wildly inaccurate), interviews, and countless reviews of his books and plays. The
first book about Verne was printed in France in 1883,3 but the two most
influential French biographies were those produced by the family, both of them translated
into English. The initial search for a full biographical study of Verne seemed to be
satisfied in the 1928 book by a cousin, Marguerite Allotte de la Fuÿe. Later research
revealed that she had concocted a mythical Verne, however, and many of the curtains that
she had so carefully stitched were pulled back by the second familial biography. This 1973
book by the author's grandson, Jean Jules-Verne, revealed Jules Verne to be a man with
profound personal failings, most notably as a husband and father, while also discussing
In addition to translated biographies, important
studies about Verne have originated in English. The first to attempt a scholarly critical
analysis of Verne in the English language was Kenneth Allott, in 1940, placing the
author's work in the cultural and social context of 19th century literature.4
In 1966, Idrisyn Oliver Evans attempted to combine the biographical and critical
approaches and demonstrate the depth of Verne's cultural impact, but the work was
undermined by Evans's highly idiosyncratic perspective (just as his translations were
marked by extreme subjectivity and a censorial hand).5 Peter Costello's 1978
biography offered some useful aesthetic analysis of individual Verne works, and a few
other details, as did such lesser Verne biographies as those by George H. Waltz and
Lawrence Lynch.6 With Verne increasingly recognized for his literary
significance as well as a genre author, several recent studies of Verne in English have
closely examined his oeuvre, rather than his life. For instance, Andrew Martin has
examined Verne within a number of political and literary trends of the 19th century, while
Arthur B. Evans has discussed the ideological and semiotic aspects of Verne's works.7
These books in English, together with many
studies in other languages, represent the wealth of writing about Verne. Regrettably,
Herbert Lottman's book fails to utilize these potential resources fully, nor does it
situate its own raison d'être in Verne studies.
Herbert R. Lottman is a prolific 70-year-old
free-lance writer, journalist, and correspondent for Publisher's Weekly. A native
of New York and holding an M.A. from Columbia University, he has resided in Paris since
1949 and has traveled extensively, mostly to report on the publishing trade. Lottman has
written books on Pétain, Camus, Colette, the Left Bank, and on travel for commercial
publishers, and his biographies have been recognized for their attention to detail. In an
interview with Contemporary Authors, he noted that he plans his work in advance,
organizing by his journalistic experience. A fast notetaker, he utilizes nearly every
scrap of material he has gathered. Lottman boasted that, in this way, he could write whole
chapters of his biography of Camus in a single twelve-hour day, referring to his notes and
checking his sources.8
Sadly, it is just these characteristics of
Lottman's approach that make his study of Verne such a disappointment. First, there is
little literary analysis of Verne's works, and that which is present is cursory and often
ill-considered. Second, while the details of Verne's life are more developed, they are
frequently marred by the author's determination to indulge in amateur Freudian analysis
and to draw often highly questionable conclusions from his biographical data.
Generally, Lottman's discussion of Verne's
writing is shallow, seldom extending beyond simple plot analysis. There is little evidence
that Lottman has personally studied Verne's more than sixty novels and many additional
short stories, plays, non-fiction, speeches, and poems. Instead, he largely relies on
information from secondary sources. The inconsistency in his selection of the various
English-language titles of Verne's works--many unique to the highly abridged Fitzroy
editions by I.O. Evans--raises serious questions about some of the texts Lottman may have
The biography begins in a promising way, opening
with a prologue discussing Verne's first novel Cinq semaines en ballon (Five
Weeks in a Balloon). However, for the remainder of the 330-page book, the author is
largely content to describe, rather than to analyze, the bulk of Verne's oeuvre. For
instance, Lottman offers only lifeless summaries of some of Verne's important
early works, like "Maître Zacharius" ("Master Zacharius"). Only a page and a half of synopsis is
devoted to Voyage au centre de la terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth)--a
novel which is, by any measure, one of Verne's most enduring and mythically powerful
works. His discussion of L'Ile mystérieuse (The Mysterious Island),
although more substantial, ignores the important role played by the character Ayrton. Yet
Ayrton is the key contrasting figure in the paean to technology and cooperation in
creating civilization that forms the theme of The Mysterious Island.
When Lottman does make an observation beyond
reciting the plot, he frequently does not offer carefully considered views. He claims that
Robur-le-conquérant (Robur-the-Conqueror) portrays "an attack from the
air, anticipating the horrors of twentieth-century warfare" (255), although the incident
referred to in the novel is the use of rifle and cannon fire to liberate African slaves
from imminent execution--hardly a forecast of the "horrors" of modern war. When
describing the oft-mentioned similarities between Verne's De la terre à la lune
(From the Earth to the Moon) and the 1969 Apollo 11 moon flight, he states:
"There is no rational explanation for the coincidences between what Verne envisioned and
what actually occurred a century later" (336). Lottman ignores the well-known fact that
Verne had a cousin, a professor of mathematics in a Parisian lycée, who did the
calculations for his fictional moon voyage. Hence, there is no "coincidence" as to why
Verne's predictions were so exact more than a hundred years before the Apollo mission.
Everything which was calculable in Verne's time indeed resembles the events that occurred
Lottman fails to see any merit in some of Verne's
most skillful but little-known works, such as Les Pays des fourrures (The Fur
Country). Many of the later Verne works are dismissed in a quirky manner, such as the
treasure hunt of Mirifiques aventures de Maître Antifer (Wonderful
Adventures of Master Antifer) as not holding "the reader's attention" (289). He
condemns L'Ile à hélice (Propeller Island), saying that in fact the
story does not present a bleak enough view of its scientific creation. This statement
overlooks the plot's progression and the theme of the island's inevitable self-destruction
resulting from humanity's inability to make the social changes necessary to adjust to the
technical advances--a common theme in Verne's fiction.
Approaching Verne's books in chronological order,
Lottman makes little effort to examine the links between the works or the broader themes
and narrative formulae which characterize Verne's oeuvre as a whole. And again, many
errors are made. Lottman describes Verne's experience as a playwright as responsible for
"the crisp, impudent dialogue" of his best-known stories--probably the first and only
time either word has been applied to the speech patterns of Verne's characters (37). He
regards the character of Robur-the-Conqueror as Verne's first "genius of evil intent"
(255). Yet this is the same Robur who had used his airship to save African slaves from
execution, and in this novel he is merely an enigma, hardly a man of evil intent. Further,
Lottman claims that the various "innovators" portrayed in Verne's earlier novels prior
to Robur "had been well-meaning men of science, if at times they lacked tact" (254-55).
Can this refer to the fanatical Captain Hatteras or the vengeful Captain Nemo--who both
appeared in novels written in the 1860s?
Important issues such as narrative structure,
19th-century ideology, and stylistic innovation in Verne's works--discussed over the past
few decades by writers and scholars on both sides of the Atlantic such as Michel Butor,
Roland Barthes, Raymond Roussel, Michel Serres, Charles-Noël Martin, Arthur B. Evans,
Andrew Martin, Robert Pourvoyeur, William Butcher, Daniel Compère, and Vohker Dehs among
many others--seem almost totally ignored in this study (despite the fact that the author
cites many of these critical works in his endnotes).10 As such, Lottman's
literary judgments are generally not reliable. For example, he regards Verne's early
polar adventure "Un Hivernage dans les glaces" ("A Winter Amid the Ice") as the first
truly Vernian story. Conventional wisdom more accurately gives this honor to Verne's
"Master Zacharius." "A Winter Amid the Ice" is a simple Robinsonade set in the Arctic
that falls squarely within the typical generic boundaries of such tales. "Master Zacharius," by contrast, demonstrates the innovations Verne would bring to literature.
While using the fantastic motifs of his predecessors, Verne began to move beyond E.T.A.
Hoffman or Edgar Allan Poe by integrating elements of science into this fantasy of the
devil and a watchmaker. In addition, Lottman ignores the newly-discovered short stories of
Verne's early writing career like "Le Mariage de M. Anselme des Tilleuls" ("The
Marriage of Mr. Anselme des Tilleuls"), "San Carlos," and "Le Siège de Rome" ("The
Siege of Rome") which were written in the 1850s and first published during the last few
years. This questionable grasp of Verne's early works colors Lottman's comments on his
subsequent works. For example, he writes that nothing that Verne had done before Five
Weeks in a Balloon "offered the slightest sign he would now create work so
compelling that it would become immortal" (ix). Only by discounting such stories as
"Master Zacharius" or the apparently Poe-like (although written before Verne ever read
Poe) "A Balloon Journey" could Lottman make such an unjustified assertion.11
Lottman states that, once Verne realized that
science fiction was his métier, he never returned to stories of adventure
(107)--yet adventure, and not science fiction, constitutes by far the largest quantity of
Verne's literary output. In fact, Verne did not set out to write science fiction; instead,
he sought to counter the tradition of the imaginary voyage with the romance of science.
The Voyages Extraordinaires had a dual aim--to teach science and geography
through fictional travels and adventures. Only out of this purpose did what we now know as
science fiction eventually emerge, with the distinction between this genre and adventure
fiction taking shape only as Verne's oeuvre grew and as his worldwide success spawned
Lottman's focus on the biographical over the
literary elements neglects the connections between the events in Verne's life and the
elements of his stories. For instance, Lottman suggests that Verne resented the fact that
older men were considered a better marriage prospect than he was (15). Yet the motif of
older men as the most appropriate bridegrooms appears in several Verne novels, such as Les
Enfants du Capitaine Grant (The Children of Captain Grant) or Le
Testament d'un excentrique (The Will of an Eccentric). In commenting harshly
upon the short novel Une Ville flottante (A Floating City) (147),
Lottman fails to appreciate the autobiographical aspects of the work and to relate them to
the letters Verne wrote from the Great Eastern and from Niagara Falls to his
publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel. Finally, there is discussion of Verne's work as a lyricist
for the compositions of his fellow native of Nantes, Aristide Hignard, who wrote musical
compositions for operas and operettas (36, 51, 53). However, Lottman does not link Verne's
musical interests with their fictionalization in the novel Propeller Island. The
narrators of this tale are a quartet of musicians, who are abducted to perform for the
wealthy families living on this mobile isle, and the compositions they play provide a
revealing glimpse of Verne's musical tastes. Only in exploring Verne's anti-semitic
streak--as revealed in unflattering Shylock-style stereotypes in two stories--are Verne's
works thoroughly connected with the man. Lottman condemns the one novel in which this
theme is the most evident, Hector Servadac, but fails to appreciate the premise
on which the novel itself is based, a tour of the solar system by castaways on a comet.
Lottman's lack of examination of wider literary
contexts sometimes results in unfounded generalizations. He says, for example, that
"marriage and money" were all that interested Verne as a playwright (80), yet these were
obviously conventional themes that have always appealed to theatergoers. He also fails to
pursue the complexity of important issues such as the multiplicity of audiences for which
the Voyages Extraordinaires were intended, and by whom they continue to be read
today. In founding the Magasin d'éducation et de récréation in 1863, the
renowned French editor Pierre-Jules Hetzel sought to establish a family journal which
would be both entertaining and educational. In part because of the Catholic-controlled
schools in France, there was widespread illiteracy about geography and science. Hetzel
recognized that fictional adventures such as those Verne could write would serve to
promote such an awareness among adults and children alike. Later, publishers in Europe and
in the United States, more concerned with the fictional than the didactic content,
frequently transformed Verne's work into watered-down tales for children. Modern
adaptations of Verne to comic books, movies, and television have presented him as a
visionary "science fiction" icon.
Lottman does not elucidate the cultural
conditions that have played such a large role in determining Verne's literary reputation,
nor does he attempt to explain how Verne still remains a best-selling author in this
context. His observations on Verne's influence on science, culture, and literature are
perfunctory. Lottman's final comments on the overall historical significance of Verne's Voyages
Extraordinaires are no more insightful than those one might expect in a superficial
glossy magazine article.
Lottman does occasionally raise tantalizing
questions about Verne's personal life, but despite his subtitle, An Exploratory
Biography, many of these points are then never investigated. For instance, Verne
wrote to his brother in 1893: "You and I both committed an enormous and irreparable
blunder; you know which one, without having to be specific. Tear up this letter. But what
a life we'd have had, without that blunder." (Actually, Lottman mistranslated the
passage; it should read "But what a life, without that blunder." The quote in
the French edition is correct: "Mais quelle vie, sans cette sottise.")13 While the
blunder was apparently marriage, it also reflects the wider desire for escapism and
adventure which motivated so many of Verne's fictional characters, a connection Lottman
fails to make. Similarly, he quotes such lines as "if I wanted to be gruesome, I'd say
that it's life itself that doesn't suit me very well" (61)--but does not pursue further
such important signs of Verne's nascent misanthropy, as reflected in many of his most
remarkable characterizations. He cites Verne's dislike of the military, stated at the time
his lottery number exempted him from service, but does not pause to question whether it
had ramifications in his writing. Despite Lottman's dwelling on Verne's anti-semitism, he
fails to examine the impact of Jules and his son Michel's different reactions to the
Dreyfuss Affair; Lottman is typically content merely to say, "it was not the only time a
family split over Dreyfuss" (307).
Instead of using such material as a key to
exploring Verne's creative psyche, Lottman chooses instead to classify him according to a
preformulated psychological profile. He sprinkles the book with bits of Freudian analysis,
but never fully develops this methodology so that it might lead to a full portrait of
Verne the man or writer. Lottman labels Verne an "anal" personality, which is
used as a catch-all justification to explain such diverse matters as Verne's
worries about income and the spendthrift proclivities of his son Michel. "Anality" is even invoked in
discussing Verne's periodic anti-semitism and his frustration at his inability to earn the
recognition of the French literary establishment (189).
Lottman is suspicious of all Verne's illnesses,
going to such excess with his discussion of Verne's stomach problems as to border on
obsession. Yet he does not link these problems to themes in Verne's stories, as previously
outlined by Andrew Martin.14 Lottman's interest in Verne's intestinal
difficulties no doubt derives from a recent book on Verne by Olivier Dumas, a physician by
training, which in turn was based on ideas from an earlier book by Marc Soriano.15
The fact that these medical complaints were related to the development of the diabetes
which eventually caused Verne's death seems of little relevance to these analysts. By
contrast, Lottman fails to offer much information on a far more unusual disorder from
which Verne also suffered, facial paralysis.
Verne's life and work are elucidated by a
psychoanalytic reading, as many critics have noted; Lottman merely chose the wrong method.
By contrast, the two introductions by Walter James Miller in his "Annotated Jules Verne"
series proved the potential richness that a scholarly handling of the psychobiographical
approach can achieve.16 Miller noted Verne's personality, his own frustrations,
and linked them to the rebellions that marked his heroes.
With this book, Lottman lives up to his
reputation for meticulous attention to detail, although at times he seems to dwell on
minutiae. For a nonacademic, commercial writer, Lottman has done an impressive quantity of
research, taking advantage of the Verne libraries in Amiens and Nantes. He has thoroughly
perused the well-indexed Bulletin de la Société Jules Verne, a quarterly which,
since the 1960s, has published scholarly articles and primary texts about Verne. Extensive
endnotes cover twenty-three pages in the English edition, and thirty pages in the French
edition. Yet Lottman fails to provide a bibliography or a bibliographic essay giving an
overview of Vernian scholarship--an addition which would have been very useful to the
non-specialist and which, one assumes, would have been relatively easy given his research.
More perplexing by its absence is even the most rudimentary listing of Verne's works, a
necessity in any book dealing with such a prolific author.
Lottman frequently handles his sources in an
awkward manner. In arguing against the old family legend that Verne tried to run away to
sea as a boy, he inaccurately describes his evidence, Verne's brief, highly
impressionistic reminiscence, "Souvenirs d'enfance et de jeunesse" ("Memories of
Childhood and Youth"). He seems unaware that this memoir was written for a children's
magazine, not one for adults, and that it was originally published in Verne's lifetime in
the United States, and published only posthumously in France.17 In utilizing
quotes from Verne that originally appeared in interviews with newspaper correspondents,
Lottman situates them out of context, particularly in the first part of the book.18
Later, he clusters the remainder together at the end, apparently in the effort to give a
picture of Verne's last years. However, instead of combining and distilling the insights
from these sources, Lottman only provides summaries of individual interviews. This is
characteristic of the organization of the book, which tends to be centered around the
sources utilized at the moment, rather than the subject at hand. As a result, there is a
tendency to repeat topics only a few pages apart; for instance, Lottman's mention of Poe
on pages 44 and 84 seems to clash. He investigates the centrality of the Robinson Crusoe
myth in Verne's writing in conjunction with the discussion of one of his non-Robinson
novels, Voyages et aventures du Capitaine Hatteras (Journeys and Adventures
of Captain Hatteras) (97-98), yet later finds Verne's devotion to the Robinson genre
Despite giving the impression of a tome laden
with authoritative citations, Lottman often indulges in sheer speculation--some
of it (seemingly) for purposes of pure sensationalism. As a result of his "anality" theory, he
labels Verne a hypochondriac and treats this contention as verified fact. With no evidence
other than the possibility that Verne fleetingly knew Aristide Briand as a teenager,
Lottman investigates whether Verne may have been a homosexual and a pedophile. This legend
of Verne meeting Briand was based on a misreading of a handwritten letter by Verne to
Hetzel on a Saturday in 1877.19 The fact that Lottman devotes more space to
such a lurid rumor than to a discussion of Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth
is typical of the overall failings of this biography.
To Lottman's credit, he does follow in the
footsteps of many French Verne scholars to correct a number of factual errors that have
appeared in earlier Verne biographies, and incorporates much of what has been discovered
in the two decades since Jean Jules-Verne's biography. Lottman is much interested in the
business details of Verne's life, as might be expected from one also who makes his living
by his pen, and these financial matters receive a full airing. He provides the first
thorough account in any English-language biography of Verne's collaborations with Adolphe
d'Ennery on turning his novels into plays. On the other hand, Lottman offers little
discussion of Verne's occasional collaboration on novels with Paschal Grousset (André
Laurie), or of the role played by Verne's son Michel in the composition of the posthumous Voyages
Extraordinaires. In the last decade, the original manuscripts have appeared in print,
revealing that the first versions published in the decade after Verne's death were
extensively rewritten by, and in some cases originated with, Michel. Only the most
perfunctory survey is provided of these later works and Michel's previously unknown role
in shaping his father's reputation.
Lottman's prose is generally highly readable and
engaging. He has labored to produce what he clearly intends to be the definitive biography
of Verne. And it is probably the most accurate book about Verne available in English,
although that is less a tribute than an indication of the weakness of the other
biographies. Considering the many studies in various languages, especially in French,
Lottman's effort is considerably less impressive. He has accumulated a wide array of data,
but has been unable to synthesize this mass of information in a meaningful way.
Lottman's book is especially disappointing
because the time is so ripe for an account that would fuse the new biographical
discoveries about Verne with the many insights of recent Vernian literary criticism.
Lottman has resisted the analysis of the Vernian oeuvre necessary for a balanced study.
Even accepting his selectivity, the insistence on explaining Verne by a focus on his
intestinal troubles renders the biographical interpretation unconvincing. Viewed apart
from his writings, Jules Verne is a rather unexceptional individual, and such a narrow
focus makes for a rather pedestrian and mundane book. By analyzing the strictly material
side of Verne's life, Lottman has neglected the creative talents and the well-springs of
imagination that produced the fiction for which Verne is remembered. Those readers seeking
to understand the reasons why Verne is one of the most widely translated and enduringly
popular authors of all time will find little explanation in this biography.
1. Marguerite Allotte de la Fuÿe, Jules
Verne, sa vie, son oeuvre (Paris: Kra, 1928); Marguerite Allotte de la Fuÿe, Jules
Verne, tr. by Erik de Mauny (London: Staple Press, 1954); Jean Jules-Verne, Jules
Verne (Paris: Hachette, 1973); Jean Jules-Verne, Jules Verne, tr. by Roger
Greaves (New York: Taplinger, 1976); Jean Chesneaux, Une lecture politique de Jules
Verne (Paris: Maspero, 1971); Jean Chesneaux, The Political and Social Ideas of
Jules Verne, tr. by Thomas Wikeley (London: Thames and Hudson, 1972).
2. Lottman's book, although written in English,
was in fact translated and first published in France by Flammarion in May 1996, six months
before the appearance of the English version. There are a number of slight differences in
content between the two editions.
3. Jules Claretie, Jules Verne (Paris:
A. Quantin, 1883).
4. Kenneth Allott, Jules Verne (London:
The Cresset Press, 1940).
5. I.O. Evans, Jules Verne and His Work (London:
Arco Publications, 1965).
6. Peter Costello, Jules Verne: Inventor of
Science Fiction (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1978); George H. Waltz Jr., Jules
Verne: The Biography of an Imagination (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1943);
Lawrence Lynch, Jules Verne (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992). There are also
numerous respectable children's biographies of Verne, most notably Russell Freedman, Jules
Verne: Portrait of a Prophet (New York: Holiday House, 1965); others include
Catherine Owens Peare, Jules Verne: His Life (New York: Henry Holt and Company,
1956); Beril Becker, Jules Verne (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1966); Peggy
Teeters, Jules Verne: The Man Who Invented Tomorrow (New York: Walter and
7. Andrew Martin, The Mask of the Prophet:
The Extraordinary Fictions of Jules Verne (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990); Arthur B.
Evans, Jules Verne Rediscovered: Didacticism and the Scientific Novel (Westport,
CT: Greenwood Press, 1988). Other important recent works are William Butcher, Verne's
Journey to the Centre of the Self: Space and Time in the "Voyages Extraordinaires" (London:
MacMillan, 1990) and Andrew Martin, The Knowledge of Ignorance: From Genesis to Jules
Verne (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
8. Interview by John F. Baker in Frances C.
Locher, ed., Contemporary Authors, vol. 105 (Detroit: Gale Research, 1982),
9. Such titles include The School for
Crusoes, The Southern Star Mystery, and The Mystery of Arthur Gordon Pym (titled
in French, respectively, L'Ecole des Robinsons, L'Etoile du sud, and Le
Sphinx des glaces). For an overview of the Fitzroy editions, see Brian Taves &
Stephen Michaluk, The Jules Verne Encyclopedia (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press,
1996), 17. Lottman's quirky selection among the range of English-language titles, and the
lack of cross-references in French, makes use of the index to locate references to stories
10. Michel Butor, "Le Point suprême et l'âge
d'or à travers quelques romans de Jules Verne," Arts et Lettres 15:3-31, 1949;
Roland Barthes, "Nautilus et Bateau Ivre" in Mythologies (Paris: Seuil, 1957),
90-92; Raymond Roussel, Comment j'ai écrit certains de mes livres (Paris: J.-J.
Pauvert, 1963); Michel Serres, Jouvences sur Jules Verne (Paris: Editions de
Minuit, 1974); Charles-Noël Martin, Jules Verne, sa vie et son oeuvre (Lausanne:
Ed. Rencontre, 1971); Arthur B. Evans, Jules Verne Rediscovered (Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press, 1988); Robert Pourvoyeur, "L'invention des noms étrangers
chez Jules Verne," Modernités de Jules Verne (Paris: PUF, 1988), 69-86; Andrew Martin, The
Mask of the Prophet (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990); William Butcher, Verne's
Journey to the Center of the Self (London: MacMillan, 1990); Daniel Compère, Jules
Verne, Ecrivain (Geneva: Droz, 1991); Volker Dehs, Jules Verne, 2nd ed.
(Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH, 1993).
11. "A Balloon Journey" was retitled "Un Drame
dans les airs ("A Drama in the Air") for book publication in Le Docteur Ox (Doctor
Ox) in 1874, and consequently is better known under the latter title.
12. This goal was outlined as early as 1867 by
Jules Hetzel in his "Avertissement de l'éditeur" to the illustrated edition of Voyages
et aventures du Capitaine Hatteras. See also Daniel Compère, Jules Verne,
parcours d'une oeuvre (Amiens: Encrage, 1996), 24-27.
13. Lottman, Jules Verne: An Exploratory
Biography, 287; for the French quotation, see Lottman, Jules Verne, tr. by
Marianne Véron (Paris: Flammarion, 1996), 325.
14. Martin, The Knowledge of Ignorance: From
Genesis to Jules Verne, 122-132.
15. Olivier Dumas, Jules Verne (Lyon: La
Manufacture, 1988); Marc Soriano, Jules Verne (le cas Verne) (Paris: Julliard,
16. Walter James Miller, "A New Look at Jules
Verne," in The Annotated Jules Verne: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (New
York: Crowell, 1976), 7-22; Walter James Miller, "The Many Worlds of Jules Verne," in The
Annotated Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon (New York: Crowell, 1978), 9-19.
17. "Souvenirs d'enfance et de jeunesse"
("Memories of Childhood and Youth") was first published as "The Story of my
Youth's Companion, 64 (April 9, 1891), 211, and the original French manuscript was
finally published in France in Pierre-André Touttain, Jules Verne (Paris:
Editions de L'Herne, 1974), 57-62.
18. Daniel Compère & Jean-Michel Margot, Entretiens
avec Jules Verne (forthcoming, Paris: Champion, 1997).
19. See Jean-Michel Margot, "Dernières (?)
précisions sur les rencontres Briand-Verne," Bulletin de la Société Jules Verne 62:210,
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