Why publish a little‑known Verne book in Oxford World's Classics, complete with detailed critical apparatus? The answer may be found in the work itself.

The Adventures of Captain Hatteras is a gripping story about a quest for the North Pole. The 140,000‑word double‑decker was the second novel Jules Verne published (1864‑‑5) and, with Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas, the work he put himself the most into.

Hatteras constitutes the formal beginning of the Extraordinary Journeys, Verne's sixty‑four‑work, fifty‑year series of adventure books. Commentators have been unanimous about this debut novel. Real‑life explorers have said that it gives the most accurate picture of Arctic life ever.[1] George Sand described it as 'captivating', Gautier, 'excellent', Zola, 'a great imagination and very keen intelligence', Julien Gracq, 'a masterpiece'. Ionesco said 'all my texts were written, directly or allusively, to celebrate [Hatteras's] discovery of the North Pole'. Modern critics have similarly considered it 'masterly' and 'perhaps [Verne's] greatest masterpiece'.[2]

And yet this novel is not well‑known. Only three or four full‑length articles have been written about it, and no attempt has been made to analyse the work as a whole. The changes between the manuscript and the serial and book editions have usually been ignored, as has the novel's intellectual history.

To coincide with the Navy's last North Polar expedition, four different translations appeared in the 1870s, but the book has not been translated since. The paradox is that, although this classic 'British' novel is selling steadily in every major language and is high on the list, it has long been unavailable in English. The present edition will attempt to fill both gaps by providing a comprehensive critical analysis and the first unabridged translation.



Biographical Information

Jules‑Gabriel Verne was born in 1828, on an island in central Nantes, western France. His father had a successful law practice, and wrote amateur verses. His mother=s maiden name was Allotte de la Fuÿe, derived from Seigneur N. Allott, a fifteenth‑century immigrant in Louis XI=s Scottish Guard of archers.[3]

The family biographer tells us that the boy would often visit his great‑uncle, Jules‑Joseph de la Celle de Châteaubourg, Chateaubriand's nephew. The writer claimed to have originally gone to America to find the Northwest Passage to Cathay before the British got there. (We now know that Chateaubriand invented much on the liner back, probably not even getting as far as the Mississippi.)

In 1847 Jules arrived in Paris to study law. For the next ten years, he lived in a succession of single rooms, sometimes with barely enough to eat. Devoting himself to play writing, seven of his thirty pieces had been performed or published by 1863, one with the help of Dumas père.

Verne also published five short stories, in which many of the themes and structures of his famous novels are already visible. All concern the difficulty of getting things going (like Verne=s own career) and all are set in foreign parts, are late Romantic in conception, and finish tragically.

In 1856 the playwright met Honorine de Viane, a widow with two daughters; they married a few months later, with Verne turning to stockbroking to support his new family.

Verne's 1859 journey to Britain (his first outside France) had a major impact on him, especially Edinburgh and the Highlands. In just eight days, Verne and his collaborator Aristide Hignard managed to fit in Liverpool docks, open prostitution, scenes from Scott's novels, Arthur's Seat (his first mountain), ten‑storey medieval houses, flirtation with an Edinburgh lass, nude sea bathing, a 'chateau' in Fife, Loch Katrine, Ben Lomond, Mme Tussaud's, and the Great Eastern. Backwards to Britain was the first book Verne completed, but lay hidden until 1989, when it was hailed as a fine piece of travel writing and a vital document for understanding the young man.

In 1861, while his only child, Michel, was being born, Verne visited Norway and Denmark. Travelling with Hignard and a lawyer friend, he navigated the locks up to Christiana and visited the wild Telemark region, spending seven weeks away. The sole surviving chapter of his book, 'Joyous Miseries of Three Travellers in Scandinavia', was published in 2003. Both travel works point the way to the first novels, especially Hatteras and Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864), which heads into a volcano in Iceland and down through the layers of the globe's history. All four books, written in four years, feature small groups of male travellers, borrow from the same exploration and travel literature, have the same atmosphere of anguish and mystery, involve labyrinths, electrical storms, and volcanoes, and employ the same metaphors and writing strategies. Three of the works pass through (or under) Liverpool, and three, Hamburg and Denmark.

'Joyous Miseries' proposes a manifesto for the four works:


I was drawn to the hyperboreal regions, like the magnetic needle to the north, without knowing why . . . I love cold lands by temperament. The book of M. Énault, Norvège,[4] [contains] the following passage: 'As you head north, you continually get higher; but so uniformly and imperceptibly that you only realize the height you've got to by looking at the rise in the barometer and the drop in the thermometer.'


Verne equates altitude with latitude and the deliciously cold temperature ‑ three scales measuring out his obsession for the north. This over‑determines the monomaniacal quest for a unique culminating point that generates and structures Backwards to Britain, 'Joyous Miseries', Hatteras, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and lies at the very heart of the Extraordinary Journeys.

From the beginning Verne had visited literary salons, thanks to another uncle; there he befriended Alexandre Dumas père and fils and photographer and balloonist Nadar. Through them he met Alfred de Bréhat, a boys' writer and fellow Breton, who, in July 1862, introduced him to his new publisher Jules Hetzel (1814‑86). This towering figure had brought out Balzac, Stendhal, and Hugo ‑ plus his own books for boys. A member of Lamartine's government, he had spent eight years in exile after the 1848 Revolution.

Within months of the crucial encounter, Five Weeks in a Balloon became a huge success.

The novelist spent 1863‑‑4 in a whirlwind of activity. The family now had five members, one of them difficult and squalling, and moved to a larger flat in suburban Auteuil. Verne was busy writing or publishing four novels as well as several other pieces. He brought out an article praising 'Edgar Allan Poe and his Works' and a historical novella, The Count of Chanteleine, and contributed to a second collection of songs with Hignard. He submitted Paris in the Twentieth Century, but Hetzel categorically rejected it, calling it 'a painful thing, so dead . . . inadequate on every line' (it became the most successful French novel ever in the United States). Verne also wrote Hatteras and Journey to the Centre of the Earth,[5] much of the former during an extended stay at his parents' country house, with noisy children all around. All the while, he was slaving at his day‑job.

On 16 September 1863 Verne declined to invest 40,000 francs (about £160,000 in modern‑day terms) in his publisher's company; he cited financial problems, probably due to the move, his broking commitments, and uncertainty about his future. Hetzel would offer a second one‑book contract only on 1 January 1864, when Hatteras was three‑quarters finished, and again took more than five‑sixths of the profits and failed to provide any advance for future novels.[6]

And yet Verne was to be pivotal to his new publishing venture, the fortnightly Magasin d'éducation et de récréation (March 1864‑‑1906). Co‑directed by Republican educationalist Jean Macé (and by Verne himself, from 1867), the MÉR aimed for a young readership, with a pedagogical and moralistic approach. The illustrated magazine was given away with the leading newspaper Le Temps for the first eleven months, a 200,000‑franc loss‑leader that ensured its success. The first issue opened with chapters one and two of Hatteras, which dominated for the next twenty‑two months, in conjunction with Hetzel's rewriting and appropriation of The Swiss Family Robinson.

Perhaps because of the strain, the novelist suffered an acute attack of facial paralysis in August 1864, with half his face going dead.

In 1866, Hatteras appeared in book form, inaugurating Verne's series of Extraordinary Journeys. According to the rather brash Publisher's Announcement, their aim was >to sum up all the geographical, geological, physical, and astronomical knowledge amassed by modern science and rewrite the story of the universe=.

In 1867 the family moved to the seaside village of Le Crotoy, The same year, Verne sailed to America on the liner the Great Eastern. He also bought three boats of successively greater size, visiting the British Isles a total of twelve times and going as far as North Africa. In 1872 the family moved to Amiens. In 1885, Verne sold his yacht for financial reasons and gave up travelling.

Michel tried his hand at many careers, including writing, one story being published under his father=s name. After Jules Verne=s death in 1905, eight novels and three short stories appeared in the Extraordinary Journeys. Only in 1978 was it realized that Michel had made radical changes. Two‑thirds of The Survivors of the >Jonathan=, for instance, are his, including the many philosophico‑political passages; and perhaps even more of the masterpiece >Edom=, set 20,000 years in the future.



Captain Hatteras can be quickly summarized. Richard Shandon receives a mysterious letter asking him to construct a reinforced ship in Liverpool, purchase six years of supplies, and assemble a highly‑paid crew for an unknown destination. As the ship heads off for Melville Bay in April 1860, only a 'dog‑captain' has appeared. At seventy‑eight degrees, the ship is freezing up and the men are unhappy ‑ when a crewman reveals himself as John Hatteras. Despite two previous tragedies, the captain is determined to use his steam‑engine to plant the Union Jack at the North Pole. Hatteras hits it off with Dr Clawbonny, who has Dickensian optimism, curiosity, and commonsense, and they set out over the icy wastes to search for fuel. They rescue Altamont, the sole survivor of an American expedition, but when they return, the crew have mutinied and blown up the ship. Hatteras and his companions remain without resources at the coldest point on earth.

The five men build an ice‑house 350 miles from the Pole and over the winter months discuss previous expeditions. When Altamont insists on calling the land New America, an argument breaks out, for Hatteras suspects him of designs on the Pole. However, Altamont saves Hatteras from musk oxen and the two are reconciled. Having cannibalized the American ship, the explorers trek north to a warmer zone, with paradisiacal frolicking animals. There they discover an open sea, teeming with monsters and birds.


From the beginning, Verne was fascinated by the polar regions, amongst the last virgin areas on the globe. In 1851 he is reported to have visited a maternal uncle in Dunkirk, a major port for Arctic whalers; and consequently to have written 'Wintering in the Ice' (1855), a precursor to Hatteras.

The two works share motifs of death, blood, and ice, plus a mutiny, a bear attack, and the immobilization of the brig when forced out of the ice. In the original version, the villains end up eating their faithful huskies, despite the terrible smell ‑ perhaps why the cooking is omitted in a similar episode in Hatteras. The story has a note, probably written by the author, describing it as 'in Cooper's manner' and based on an analysis of 'every traveller's tale'. Verne's attraction to the Arctic consequently predated any interest in science. A decade before meeting Hetzel, he had discovered his path of adventure fiction in remote areas.

Three later novels take place in the ice, The Fur Country (1873) in northern Canada, An Antarctic Mystery (1897), and The Lighthouse at the End of the World (1905) at the tip of Patagonia. The 1897 work is a sequel to, or rather continuation of, The Adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym, the focus of Verne's 1864 article on Poe. It explains Pym's disappearance with a giant magnet in the shape of a Sphinx which irresistibly attracts all metals, including the nails holding boats together. Hatteras, An Antarctic Mystery, Verne's only literary study, and Poe's lone novel are thus linked. Even the title The Adventures of Captain Hatteras echoes The Adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym.

Verne's polar obsession is visible in many other works. Captain Nemo dives under the icecap to plant his flag at the South Pole, which is also flown over in Clipper of the Clouds (1886). The hero of The Wreck of the 'Cynthia' (1885) sails the Northwest Passage and makes the first circumnavigation of the Pole. The title of The Purchase of the North Pole (1899) speaks for itself. The Arctic receives one chapter in Famous Travels and Travellers (1878) and twenty‑one in Verne's unpublished collaboration 'The New World' (1881).


For Mediterranean countries, the north represented barbarian invasion and ill‑fortune, but Verne was also influenced by classical legends of the warm waters of Hyperborea, the land behind the north wind.

The sources of Hatteras have unfortunately not been investigated to date, so only brief indications can be given here. The seventy‑five footnotes may be due to Scott's and Poe's excesses. At the cusp of Romanticism and Realism, Verne echoes contemporary descriptions of nature, and occasionally pastiches Baudelaire's 'desolations'. The names of his characters are taken from Cooper's Miles Wallingford (1844) and Thackeray's History of Pendennis (1850); and there are direct borrowings from Sterne's Tristram Shandy (1759‑‑67), Chateaubriand's Travels in America (1827), and Victor Hugo. (Details are provided in the endnotes.)

Above all, Hatteras borrows extensively from scores of polar accounts, nearly all British. That nation's dominance of Arctic exploration is often ascribed to Waterloo, for the overmanned Navy was encouraged to channel energy into the Northwest Passage. When Sir John Franklin's 1845 expedition disappeared, more than sixty ships, many financed by his widow, went in search. The Franklin mystery, with its subtext of cannibalism, was much debated,[7] and haunts Hatteras.

But with the discovery of the Northwest Passage (1854), preliminary indications of Franklin's fate (1855), and a document in a cairn (1859), the Franklin question was more or less closed, and attention turned to the Pole.

Closely connected was the idea of an Open Sea, supposedly located beyond the limit of exploration at North Cornwall. Following sightings of open water by several explorers in the 1850s, geographers Maury and Petermann defended this thesis, often ascribed to volcanic activity or the Gulf Stream. It lost currency only in the 1890s, when it was found that although the polar sea did exist, it was invariably frozen.

Verne put to great effect maps produced by the Admiralty (1859) and geographer Malte‑Brun. The astonishing number of Arctic expeditions he cites are indicated in the Selection of Contemporary Documents (p. 00) and Appendix B: A Chronology of Arctic Exploration.

The following are the ones which influenced Hatteras the most. Scoresby (1806, 1817) reached about eighty‑two degrees, and wrote a definitive Account of the Arctic Regions (1820). Parry (1819‑‑20 and 1827) left his ship north of Spitzbergen and continued by boat and sledge, reaching 82° 45', a record until 1876. The exploration Verne refers to most often is James Ross's (1829‑‑33), when his nephew John Ross discovered the Magnetic Pole. The 1850‑‑4 McClure expedition was the first to cross the Arctic; Verne invariably describes it as having 'sailed' the Passage, a view shared by many modern authorities, although the claim was disputed in the United States. Hatteras's vessel is modelled on McClintock's screw‑driven brig (1857‑‑9), and Verne delights in revisiting many of the places of the real‑life explorer.

However, it should be borne in mind that Verne could not read English. Furthermore, only about half a dozen of the accounts were translated, principally those by Franklin, Parry, Back, Belcher, McClintock, and John Ross. Verne also used articles from Le Tour du monde, Bulletin de la Société de Géographie, and Nouvelles annales des voyages. But three books are by far his most important sources: Hervé and Lanoye, 'Journeys in the Ice . . . Extracts from the Reports of Sir John Ross, Parry . . . McClure' (1854), Lucien Dubois, 'The Pole and the Equator' (1863), and Lanoye, 'The Polar Sea' (1864).

Verne indeed copies about ten pages of Hervé and Lanoye word for word, including the mistakes, most notably the Franklin memorial inscription and the extracts from the on‑board North Georgia Gazette. His borrowings are in fact evident throughout the book.

'The Pole and the Equator', by one of Verne's schoolmates, argues for the existence of 'The Open Sea' (title of ch. 7) and a relatively warm Pole. Both ideas are crucial to Hatteras's wintering and sailing north. Much of Verne's English vocabulary, paraphrase in French, and some of the mistakes are taken from 'The Pole and the Equator'. Where Dubois praises the Creator's remarkable foresight in making snow a good insulator, placing the solution so near the problem, Verne ascribes the foresight to nature. Often, he constructs whole scenes from passing remarks by Dubois.

Verne also cites a French officer,[8] Joseph‑René Bellot, author of 'Journal of a Voyage to the Polar Seas' (1853), who volunteered for Kennedy's expedition, but drowned. He was accompanied by a certain Quartermaster Johnson; this same Johnson is ship's bosun in Hatteras, and indeed recounts Bellot's loss at great length (I 21).

However, it would be futile to try to explain Hatteras in terms of a single source. Verne's reading was voracious and his borrowing from Arctic literature in French very wide.


From first germ to book publication, the novel went through a bewildering number of titles, including: The Robinsons of the Pole ('les Robinsons' is a Defoe‑derived generic term for people shipwrecked), Captain Hatteras, The Robinsons in the Ice, Journey to the North Pole, Surprising Journey of Captain Hatteras to the North Pole, (The) British at the North Pole and (The) Desert of Ice, Adventures of Captain J. Hatteras, and Journeys and Adventures of Captain Hatteras.

Four letters provide precious information about the novel's inception. The first extant communication from Verne to his publisher, dated 26 June 1863, begins:


I have just ploughed forward as sturdily as a Norman‑crossed percheron; we'll find out whether I'm right. In any case, I'll give you the first Part of Journey to the North Pole within a fortnight.

I'm lost in my subject at eighty degrees north and forty degrees below. I'm catching cold just from writing. That's all right in the summer we're having.


We can accordingly date the composition of Part I as late spring 1863.[9] On 4 September, Verne wrote that he was 'working on the second Part'. On 16 September, he rejected Hetzel's idea of having a Frenchman on the expedition, but added: 'I strongly support your remark about Hatteras; I will make him very bold and unlucky. His boldness will be frightening.'

The final letter, dated 25 April, is vital for understanding both the meaning of Hatteras and the whole author‑‑publisher relationship, and so will be cited at length:


How badly you'd know me if you thought for a moment your letter wasn't welcome . . . It wasn't a director writing to me, but a friend who I totally trust; in any case I repeat that I agree with you. We'll delete the duel at the stroke of a pen; as for the reconciliation, we'll make it happen earlier, but not following the saving of a life, which would be diabolically common . . .

From your letter I think you generally approve of the madness and the end of Hatteras. I am very pleased, since that was worrying me the most; I could not see any other way to finish it . . . In any case how to bring Hatteras back to Britain; what would he do there? Clearly the man must die at the Pole. The volcano is the only tomb worthy of him . . .

Have you ever found me recalcitrant as regards cuts or changes? For Balloon didn't I follow your advice to suppress the long story of Joe, without hurt?

I will reveal to you exactly what I think, my dear Hetzel; I don't specially want to be an arranger of facts; so I'll always be ready to make changes for the common good. What I'd like to be above all is a writer . . .

You said to me some . . . very flattering things about my style which is getting better . . . But I wonder, in some corner of my noddle, as you say, if you didn't want to sweeten the pill slightly. I assure you, my good and dear Director, that there was nothing to sweeten; I swallow very easily and without preparation. So I wonder if you really are as pleased as you say with the writer at the novelist's expense [sic] . . .

All this is to tell you how much I'm trying to become a stylist, but a serious one; it's the idea of my entire life; and you who are so knowledgeable about such things, when you talk to me like the beginning of your letter, I feel my heart bound.

So, as regards the facts, I'll wait for you to arrive to chat an hour or two, and we'll redo the fifth act.


Verne uses honorifics worthy of the Cultural Revolution, involves the publisher in the authorship ('we'), and emphasizes his willingness to cut and change 'for the common good'. He humorously uses the language of love: bounding hearts, 'hurt', 'pleasure', and the obscene 'I swallow very easily and without preparation'.

Verne's literary manifesto is essential. He wishes to be a serious stylist, a writer, even a novelist ‑ qualities the publisher has not recognized in him. Given the decisive influence of Hetzel's publicity, it is interesting to note that from the beginning Verne deconstructed the ascribed pigeon‑hole of mere regurgitator‑of‑facts‑for‑young‑people.

We are fortunately able to judge things for ourselves. In the MÉR edition, six chapters of which had already appeared by 25 April, all trace of the duel has disappeared, but the argument between Altamont and Hatteras and subsequent reconciliation take place just before the sailing for the Pole. In the book edition, in contrast, the argument is brought forward (to II 15); and the American's saving of the Briton from the musk oxen leads directly to the reconciliation (II 17) ‑ and to a trite and forced international‑friendship scene. Verne had presumably received another letter and, although still considering it 'diabolically common', decided to sacrifice logic and aesthetics for expediency.

The manuscript version of what Verne wanted to publish, namely the duel and the suicide, are extant (quoted in Appendix A). Surprisingly, however, it has not been cited to date, apart from a few paragraphs. The survival of the duel episode, covering over a chpater, in particular, has never been suspected. And yet this seems to be the longest deleted section in the Extraordinary Journeys.

In 'John Bull and Jonathan' (MS II 21), Hatteras is dreaming on the launch, imagining the Union Jack flying at the Pole, but wakes up to find Altamont has raised the Stars and Stripes. He cuts it down, but Altamont attacks him and angrily reveals that he too had been heading for the Pole, and still wishes to claim it. Although Clawbonny acts as peacemaker, the captains decide on a duel to the death, to settle the matter once and for all. While everyone else is asleep, Hatteras wakes Altamont up, they land on an ice floe, and start fighting with knives (II 22). The floe gradually sinks, but the battle continues as the water covers their knees, and then their heads. As the men resurface, still grappling, Clawbonny and the sailors seize hold of them. An emotional scene follows, with Clawbonny pouring his heart out in reproaches and humanistic sentiment.

The deletion of this dramatic, albeit slightly comic, episode removes from the book some of the raison d'être for Hatteras's dream. More seriously, the excision of the climax of Anglo‑American rivalry seriously undermines a central theme of the novel, and with it much of the dramatic tension. Altamont is reduced instead to seeking the Northwest Passage, which in Verne's eyes has already been done, and which is not in any case a worthy pendant to Hatteras's efforts. Altamont's survival in the book indeed becomes almost pointless, since he does little except complain and even the argument is watered down to the point of insipidity. Verne must have deeply regretted agreeing to sacrifice not only the dramatic episodes and the heart of his plot, ones closely reflecting contemporary historical reality, but also virtually the only revelation of Clawbonny's mind.

Sailing on, the expedition reaches eight‑nine degrees, to discover a rugged island at the North Pole, with a volcano in full eruption. Obsessed with reaching the precise point of the Pole, the captain climbs up through the falling ash and flowing lava.


Hatteras was waving [the Union Jack] with one hand, and with the other pointing at the Pole of the celestial globe, directly overhead.

All of a sudden, he disappeared. A terrible cry from his companions must have sounded as far as the mountain peak; a quarter of a minute, a century passed, and then the unfortunate could be seen launched by the explosion of the volcano to an immense height, his flag distended by the breath from the crater.

Then he fell back down into the volcano, whereupon Duke, faithful to the death, threw himself in so as to share his tomb.

. . .

And, of the memories of the Arctic expedition, the most indelible was that of a Mount Hatteras smoking on the horizon, the tomb of a British captain standing at the North Pole of the globe.


In his letter Verne agrees to delete the duel, 'at the stroke of a pen', but feigns to believe that Hatteras can still kill himself. However, in MÉR, the suicide of the 'fifth act' has also been removed: just as the captain throws himself in, Altamont implausibly catches him – re‑finding a minimal function in the global economy of the novel ‑ but the captain is insane. Verne's unhappiness at the forced changes is shown by the captain's implausible swimming to the island, his gravestone on it, and his curious absence from the return journey and the glorious homecoming in the book version.

The manuscript is thus a crucial document. The missing chapters comprise the most significant deletion in the works Verne published wth Hetzel, and some of the most dramatic episodes of the whole corpus. The original ending is certainly a little abrupt, but is the only one to fit Hatteras's mission and character, and hence the whole novel. In the published version ninety degrees is never actually reached and the return is implausible. Given that duelling had died out, Hetzel's historical sense may be better, but his commercial and literary antennae seem seriously defective in suppressing the episodes of Anglo‑American rivalry and especially the duel and suicide. To fully understand the work, then, we are obliged to retain the earliest version.

Following its difficult, sectioned, birth, the novel had a chequered life, for moralistic attacks on Hatteras continued and it remained untranslated for a long time. In 1868 Monseigneur Dupanloup, a leading educationalist, criticized the MÉR for being insufficiently Christian. In parallel, the influential Catholic journalist, Louis Veuillot, complained: 'I have not yet read the Extraordinary Journeys of M. Verne. Our friend [Léon] Aubineau tells me they are charming, except for one absence . . . which leaves the marvels of the world an enigma. All is beautiful but inanimate. Someone is missing'.[10] One paradox here is that Verne, vaguely Catholic, was pressurized by the atheist Hetzel to write more pious sentiments so as to sell more copies. Another is that his required insertions may now be read with irony, the final effect being to cast doubt on the existence, or at least detectability, of a benevolent deity.

Most of Verne's novels appeared in English only in the 1870s, well after he had written much of his best work. It must have been galling for the part‑British author of The British at the North Pole to see the book unavailable on his frequent visits to that country over the next decade. Fate was perhaps being kind, however, for, when it did come out, the anonymous translations were at best pale and reduced copies of the original.



[1] For example Charcot, cited by Jules­Verne, 59, or Finn Ronne, 'Introduction', in The Adventures of Captain Hatteras (New York, Didier, 1951), 5­­6.

[2] Escaich (1973), 88; Dumas, 150. Stevenson is a lone dissenter, accusing Verne of 'torturing us too much upon the way' and the 'sin of . . . a bad end' ('Jules Verne=s Stories', in The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, 28, Essays, Literary and Critical, 190­­3 (192)).

[3] Verne's British ancestry was proved with the identification of the chateau built by Allott, later Allotte, Member of the Royal Household (Butcher, Jules Verne (2005)).

[4] Louis Énault, La Norvège: Christiania, les paysans, Trondhjem, chez les Lapons, Bergen, le Cap Nord (1857). The first document Verne uses for his British trip is similarly Énault's Angleterre, Ecosse, Irlande (1859). Elswehere in 'Joyous Miseries', he cites Cook, Ross, Dumont d'Urville, [Dr John] Richardson, and Dumas, plus the new periodical Le Tour du monde.

[5] Although Journey to the Centre of the Earth came out in November 1864, the second contract, of 1 January 1864, makes no reference to it, and Verne's letters mention only Hatteras, finished by March 1864. Journey was probably therefore written after most of Hatteras and submitted in about May.

[6] The contract specified payment of 3,000 francs, a print­run of 10,000 plus an indefinite number in the MÉR, an option on two volumes per year, and an advance of 300 francs per month on a history of exploration.

[7] Dickens, as one example, claimed cannibalism could not have been possible; but was refuted by John Rae (23 December 1854).

[8] Verne also mentions Émile de Bray (1829‑‑79), who accompanied Belcher. Jean Cornuault claims that de Bray made friends with Verne and gave him his journal, meaning that Hatteras contains 'entire pages of de Bray on life in the Arctic' (reported by Escaich (1973), 88). However, Verne's and de Bray's texts contain very few similarities, meaning that Cornuault's claim is not founded.

Other critics have attempted to link Hatteras with Hayes's simultaneous search for the open sea via Smith Sound. But Verne does not mention Hayes, whose book was published only in 1867, making influence unlikely.

[9] However, the map is signed 'Jules Verne 1860­­1', the action of the novel runs from April 1860 to late 1861, and the author often made the closing scene coincide with the last instalment. It is not clear, therefore, why the novel was not dated 1863­­4, unless it was first drafted in 1860­­1 or Verne wanted to make it coincide with his own Nordic trip.

[10] Cited by Ghislain Diesbach, Le Tour de Jules Verne en 80 livres (1969), 199.