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Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Translation, introduction and critical edition by

William Butcher

OUP 1992

New OUP Edition 2008

ISBN: 0-19-283675-7

Folio Society Edition, with an Introduction by Michael Crichton, 2001

 

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To sum up all the . . . knowledge amassed by science, and to rewrite the history of the universe.’ Thus Hetzel, Verne’s publisher, ambitiously announced the aims of the series the Extraordinary Journeys in the Known and Unknown Worlds, with which Verne launched his literary career. After Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) came such other masterpieces as The Adventures of Captain Hatteras, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, and Around the World in Eighty Days.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth has been consistently praised for its style and vision of the world. It explores the prehistory of the globe, but can also be read as a psychological quest, for the journey itself is as important as arrival or discovery. Professor Lidenbrock and Axel travel across Iceland, and then down through an extinct crater towards a sunless sea where they enter a living past and are confronted with the origins of man. A classic of nineteenth-century literature, the novel’s distinctive combination of realism and Romanticism has marked figures as diverse as Sartre and Tournier, Mark Twain and Conan Doyle.

 

Reviews:

'cracking good read . . . excellent modern translations . . . great read, thrilling' Vulpes Libris

 gripping, and genuinely unputdownable' 

'complete joy  . . . deeply moved by the language  . . . powerful translation  . . . brilliant' Extrapolation

‘the first critical edition . . . complete success . . . precious . . . no comparable French edition exists’ BSJV

‘superb . . . a true pearl of a book’ Professor Arthur Evans, Extraordinary Voyages

‘extremely useful’ Modern Language Review

‘a virtuoso exegete’ French Studies